Get your motor runnin', Day 4: Ready, set, sleep...


It's D-Day tomorrow, as most people count the new year.

Personally, I come from the Chris Guillebeau School of Time and Goal Management: I like to get a jump on the new year as far as possible in advance of the Actual New Year.

This time around, I kind of astounded myself by how frickety-freak-frack* organized I was about the whole affair. I started my annual Best Year Yet review a full month early, before Thanksgiving, and did. I dug into my contacts weeks ago to start the clean-and-sort process, which is great, because otherwise, I'd be starting off behind with the Virgo Guide project. And I'm under the gun enough as it is, even with the head start.

PLEASE NOTE: I am doing all of this incredibly imperfectly, and plan on continuing in that fashion. Perfection is a sucker's game.

The thing is, I could have started in January of last year and still not have been ready to hit the ground running. There's always more to do, and one thing I learned last year (although I don't think it made either list) is that the old saw about overestimating what you can get done in a day is too, too true. Especially if you suffer from acute Eyes Bigger Than Stomach Syndrome, which I do, and how.

I'm trying to become more aware of what I can get done in a day, so I can reduce the self-flagellation when I inevitably don't. For a while, I tried a system that Mark LeRoy, a smart friend of mine who runs a very successful design business, has been using for years. It involved one of those gigundous Franklin-Covey calendars and scheduling in every fifteen-minute pod of the day. It worked every bit as well as it was supposed to and I hated it even more than I expected I would. I got everything on the list done and felt like I was breathing down my own neck the whole time.

There is something to be said for planning things out and having things captured. Surprises are going to happen anyway; if you're fairly organized to start with, but not too tightly scheduled, there's some wiggle room. And wiggling is fun. Just ask a baby, they're constantly with the wiggling.

So I've done the grownup equivalent of laying out my school clothes and packing my lunch for tomorrow: I made a list. It is a list with one or two fixed givens, as my old acting teacher used to call them, and a few items I hope to accomplish. I put the estimated times next to the hopeful-item checkboxes; we shall see what we shall see.

But the biggest part of my Start the New Year Right plan is to shut down the computer now, at 6:50 Pacific. I have some personal obligations to tend to, then a little light reading, then bed. EARLY bed. For EARLY rising. And dog walking, and bed-making, and the whole day-to-day, wax-on/wax-off that makes things happen.

I'm pretty ding-dang-dong** excited about 2009, aren't you?


*I did a lot of swearing earlier today, and will be doing a lot more tomorrow, so I figured I'd balance it out by getting all Church Lady on you in between.

**Ibid. Or whatever the hell the Latin is for "same as above."

Image by star27 via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.