Having it all (and organising it, too)

When I first became interested in planner-el, John Wiegley was still the author. Then Sacha Chua took over and her boundless energy and love for hacks that help people took us a long way. Now, it looks like the baton has passed to John Sullivan. Still, Sacha makes the best evangelist for planner-el (and emacs in general) because of her infectious joy of hackery and the fact that she publishes her online journal using planner-el. I spent this weekend organising myself money-wise. I’d rather not think about money, but it seems when I don’t think about it, I spend way too much worrying over it. So, fresh from the euphoria of a budget unsullied by day-to-day implementation and with some means to put it into place, I decided tonight to give planner-el another look. Emacs greets me each day with planner-el’s layout (left over from the last time I thought about organising myself). So, I bounced over to PlannerLove.com to see what they suggested. After a bit of unorganised bouncing around, I ended up on Sacha’s thoughts about having it all. This sort of stuff is the most interesting kind of writing I’ve found in online journals and weblogs. People writing about what they want, how they can achieve it, the alternatives they’ll discard. I almost never write like this unless it is past tense. Instead of planning out what I’m going to do and carefully calculating a route, I tend to just dive in. It works well enough much of the time. But there are times that I really need to plan more. (Ever try to remodel a kitchen by just “diving in”? Not a smart move.) In a sense, this is how I ended up with a smart, beautiful wife, four wonderfully intelligent kids, a house that needs a ton of work and a job at a startup. None of that was planned. It was all just “living in the moment.” How can you argue with success? But this afternoon, I visited a retired friend who just had knee surgery. I apologised for not visiting sooner (it’s been a couple of months since I said I would), but he dismissed it. “You’ve got a lot of irons in the fire.” Which is true. So now, instead of letting my house of cards fall apart, its time to manage it a bit more. Till now, I’ve done a decent-enough job. I’ve learned to let some purely recreational hacking fall by the wayside while I concentrate more on stuff that matters to more people than just me. Now I need a tool to help me prioritize the things I want to get done. I’ve seen how just prioritising and setting deadlines helps a me get more done at work and I want to apply that to my personal life. Still, I fear I’m inherently lazy and scatterbrained. Using any tool takes discipline, something I don’t have a large reserve of. But I do have a clue for how to fill my reservoir. Sleep helps. Good night. (sleepy update: Genehack seems to have almost the same planner-el/emacs setup I do. Except he’s chosen to run his EmacsOS on a Mac for some reason.)

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