It was pointed out to me the other day that I sounded “very organized, a real list keeper”. I actually felt a little taken aback. In my life I’ve thought of myself as many things, and never has it been “organized”.
As I was trying to explain my detailed 3 part list/calendar process it dawned on me that I actually am pretty organized now, but it’s not by nature.
My personality is that of a an excited Irish Setter. Everything is exciting, everything is explorable and everyone is a friend. I run through my life tasting, smelling and touching everything. Life is an exciting technicolor field trip.
For years this meant I could never get anything done. I’d start the day with the goal to make a costume for a play, and somehow end up exhausted with a kitchen full of muffins, a half refinished dining room chair and boxes of beads reorganized by color and texture. As I gave up and got ready for bed I would remember the actual goal that day, and then stay up for another 5 hours finishing. My days were full of creative spontaneity, but it was all lost in the whirl of activity.
Finally I realized that my distracted nature was keeping me from accomplishing any real goals. I started defining a system to keep myself in check and focussed, and after years I have developed it into something that works for me. Now I can finish off more projects in a day than I used to do in a month or more.
Discipline has been the key for me, but my personal system is still fluid enough to work with my impetuous nature. If you find yourself full of creative energy that winds up being wasted due to a lack of focus, finding a system that works for you may help. I used to worry that a strict schedule would be limiting, but has had the opposite effect.
Now I see schedules, lists and calendars functioning the same way a good setting shows off a jewel. It holds you in place just enough to enable you to really shine.