`I can` t keep track of all the things we want to do, whether it`s fun events on the weekends or projects around the house. `
`I`m busier in retirement than ever.
`I keep meaning to do that, but I keep forgetting.
`We missed the play I wanted to see. It wasn’t written down anywhere.
These are all real life comments from clients, and at least one probably sounds familiar to you, doesn’t it? This is about our personal lives, keeping track of the things we want to do, and making time for what`s important to us during this chapter of our lives.
There are of course many individual reasons behind each one of these statements. One common thread as I spoke with these women is that there`s no system for keeping track of the fun side of life. Or in retirement, life itself.
Some of the women have a calendar but many don`t. `Too much structure.` They gave that up when they retired. Or gave it up because work is the place to use a calendar and list (or whatever your system is there). Having the same system in our personal lives would feel too much like work.
Some do have a calendar. They write on it the definite appointments. Only the definites though.
Questions to Reflect On
- Think about answers to these questions.
- They will point you towards what you will need for a personal system.
- Where do you get your ideas for things to do? What happens to them after that?
- What is causing you to think your way of keeping track is not working?
- Where is household central in your home?
- Do you prefer paper calendar/list or are you a PC or Mac fan?
- Do you have one place you keep the details of things you want to do?
- How do you keep track of things at work, or how did you, if you`re just retired?
- What worked or works really well? How could you use these characteristics for a system that would work for your personal life?
- Have one place to put all these ideas, whether it’s a pc file, online calendar, paper calendar/list/folder, or just a drop-off spot on the desk you use at home to manage your personal life and household.
- How about jotting down, in pencil or a different color, the things you think you want to do. Or the ones you “need to talk with someone else first”. Or “need to decide” – that’s if you have the budget, time, and real desire to do it.
- And then figure out a time when you will make that decision. Some people like to look at everything at once instead of one thing at a time. Write down the ideas you read about or hear about in the notes space of the calendar.
- Or keep a stunning folder in colors or prints for `Ideas of things we/I want to do.`
- Flip through it once a week, or when you do your bills, or check your calendar for the upcoming week. In other words, tie together two habits to have more success with both.
My point here is to have a little bit of structure, not like you have or had at work. Make it fun, colorful and attractive ` and you’re more likely to use this new system. This works!
Create enough structure with this so that your life is fulfilled in the ways you want it to be.
Resource: file folders pictured from See Jane Work website.