Not only have I not been using my awesome Holborn Filofax, I have also not even been using anything else to plan! That is dispite purchasing a really cool Moleskin planner on a recent trip as well! I bought the Moleskin planner as the pages are not white (they are cream), which is great for me, and I thought it would be lighter to carry around than my zipped A5 Holborn – which it is, however I just have not been putting things into it.
It is suddenly March and I have loads I should be doing, and even more I should have already been doing, but for various reasons I just have not done them and my planner has not been used either.
This week is looking really empty on paper – in reality it has not really been so empty, well not until yesterday that is when I ended up not going into work as I felt worse than the previous day so I spent most of the day in bed, sneezing, coughing, and generally feeling rather rubbish. Seeing as it actually snowed on campus it was really, really cold as well so there was no way I wanted to head out in that weather as I would have just been coughing and coughing from the coldness being breathed in and setting of an asthma attack. Today, although I am still sick, I seem to have slept off some of the lurgy so hopefully I will start feeling better. I was supposed to be working on my uni dissertation today but I am just not feeling up to it. I dropped down to three days at work last week instead of 5 as I have not been keeping on top of anything, particularly uni wise, as I have just been working so much, my health has not been great as this is the 2nd time I have been off work in the past month thanks to all the germs going around.
But I feel a large part of the issue is that I have not been keeping up my planning, and just muddling through everything each week. This also is what happened last term as well – me trying to juggle too much what with working full time and studying full time has really taken its toll. I could have however, worked a lot smarter rather than harder, so instead of doing my 5 days of work in 4 and going to uni for 1 day a week, I should have dropped down to doing 3 days a week at work from the beginning, and rather than struggling to do all 5 days of work in 3, got some of it reassigned to others as well. The biggest thing I should have been doing was of course using my planner to plan what I was doing when rather than just working out on the day what I was going to do, or realising Sunday afternoon that I should have done the laundry/written some of my coursework/bought a certain ingredient to cook the food for lunches at work for the week. #fail
I have been reading “Dissertations and Project Reports” by Stella Cottrell to help me get back into the swing of things, it is a very good book and is especially great for anyone who normally finds reading such a book fairly tiresome, why? Well the book itself is very clearly written and the text inside the book is blue on a white background rather than the usual black text on a white background – this for starters help make things less tiresome as it reducess the visual fatigue. There are also sections where the background of the text box is cream, so you are drawn to it and it is still very easy to read.
The book explains about the dissertation being a project, so you are essentially managing a project when you do your dissertation. To manage a project effectively you need to plan what you are going to do when, so for me to be successful in doing that, I really need to start using my planner/s again ASAP. I have also mentioned to my boss that I am struggling to keep up with everything, work wise, uni wise, and looking after myself wise, and we are meeting on Monday about how the 3 days work a week is working out. If I didn’t have my dissertation to worry about I would be working 5 days a week and all would be ok, however I realised a long wihile ago that I personally cannot keep up with so much at once, so although I like my job and don’t want to leave, work need more commitment than I can currently give and I need to do myself a favour and look after my own needs and health a lot more than I have been. The downside to not working is that I will not be able to pay my rent, which I am already struggling with, this is something that is also going to have to be looked at.
So, I have this week’s basics down and updated, I need to add the other uni session we are supposed to be having tomorrow – so long as the snow doesn’t suddenly go crazy I guess, plus I would really like to add some tasks to complete over the weekend, they will just depend on if I am feeling up to it. Instead of writing those tasks in and then end up completely changing them as well as any longer term dissertation plans, I am going to use some sticky transparent index tabs:
This also means that if I do end up having to leave this job and work the odd job here and there instead of specific days, that I can move things around easier and just write in the absolute set in stone dates – like my dissertation due date!
Hopefully this will get me back on track quickly.
I can also still make use of my Moleskin – I can use it as my carry around planner as it really is a lot lighter than my Holborn, although I will probably still take my Holborn to uni as I have my module details in it and such, or for when I have meetings with my dissertation tutor as I can zip it all up and nothing will fall out, so if he gives me some notes or a print out then I can just slot them inside and go.
Annoyingly, I might also need to change my dissertation topic, so will need to be super organised and get that fixed asap before I can crack on with the real work of the dissertation.
Have you been really good and kept up with your planning or been a slacker like I have? I would love to hear what has been your driving force for you sticking to your planning or joining the slackers club. Too much to plan thrown you in to a meltdown, or perhaps not enough to plan? Let me and others know in the comments! 🙂