Couple days ago I noticed that I check my weekly planner about a hundred times a day, which is fine, I like having plans and sticking to them. But I also noticed that it feels like I had some sort of weekly/daily plan to keep myself on track since the beginning of time. I had to stop and think for a couple minutes before I could bring back memories about how this whole goal oriented lifestyle that is full of planning and scheduling started.
I think it all started when I decided to say no to my habit of not getting anything done.
Every single day I was coming home from work to do nothing. I was too lazy to cook anything for myself so I ordered delivery every day. I was too lazy to do grocery shopping so I delayed it until it was impossible to sustain life at home. I was too lazy to go to a doctor so I postponed going to my ophthalmologist until I used the last pair of my contacts for two extra months.
It had to stop.
It wasn’t like I wasn’t aware of the problem. I was fully aware but I just didn’t have the willpower to change. Except one day. I don’t know why that particular day. Nothing is special about it, just a random weekday. Somehow I was able to say “enough” and decided to do something.
I knew it would be impossible for me to go crazy about productivity and succeed at it. I knew myself that much so I decided to go with something easy and simple. I promised myself to dedicate one hour everyday to do tasks I normally would be too lazy to do.
The next day, I came back from work and briefly thought about what to do to feel myself less lazy. No upfront plans or anything like that. I just thought about stuff I needed to take care of for a couple minutes. Then I tried to do a few of those in one hour. I made this a habit. If I forgot about something, it had to wait for the next day. If I kept forgetting it, usually it meant it wasn’t that important anyways so it wasn’t a big deal.
Back then, I didn’t have any 1 year, 5 year or lifetime goals. I didn’t have a personal mission statement, life purpose or anything else similar. Sure, I had some future plans for myself but they were all generic plans anyone could have for the sake of having an idea about future. Nothing deeper than having a mediocre career. Because of this, tasks I accomplished in that one hour were not anything life changing. They were things like doing laundry before running out of clothes, getting the car’s oil changed for a change, or calling the other cable company to get a better deal.
It wasn’t much, but it was a start. It felt so good to feel productive. And here I am today.
Today, I have a continuous feeling of accomplishment in my life. Of course, there was a lot of incremental improvement and hard work to get here. Today, I have all these goals and plans for my future, all these productivity tools, and this mentality I didn’t have back then. And I feel like if I didn’t have those one hours everyday, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I truly believe it is better today despite some amount of inevitable stress all this planning is causing. But I have to admit, occasionally I get nostalgic about the past when I had only those one hours to worry about.