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Why is planning so hard to keep consistant?

So, we’re all busy genuinely ALL the time, so planning and scheduling stuff is something we are just sort of expected to be doing. Right?
I am. THE. Worst. At. It!
Sure, at work I’m able to keep an informal daily schedule because my job depends on it, but outside of there? Nope! I try setting up an online calendar. Oops, I forgot to check it so I didn’t even see a big event was coming up. One of those little organization apps? Nope! Takes too long to learn how to use it effectively for my short attention span to open it more than once or twice. Get a physical calendar? Haha, I forget it exists.
The good news is that I’ve identified the things I want to work on and how I would (ideally) want to implement changes into my life. It’s just that setting aside time and then organizing that time that’s making things grind to a halt.
It’s just very frustrating that, even though I feel like I’m ready to make changes, I can’t even get in the habit of even TRACKING or even PLANNING time for the habits I’m actually trying to work on.


Tracking and planning can be SUPER overwhelming! There can be so many different reasons why the thing you want just isn’t working. Executive Function issues? General life stress taking priority? Maybe it’s a skill you just truly never learned, and now you’re in the middle of a chaos schedule/organized life and you’re trying to claw your way back to the start, to REorganize it but how do you even get back to the start when you have to basically stay in the middle if you want to move forward?!

That last bit? That’s how I feel like… more often than not. I have never, in my working memory of my life, been able to keep up with things or keep a schedule unless something like a job demanded it. This was an issue in school because i never remembered homework or tests, an issue in work because I would forget to prioritize some more time sensitve things and do them in a rush, it’s an issue in my life because i have to homeschool my kid and clean the place and keep up with when my husband has the car and do we need to go to the store, etc.

“Oh, so just structure your life like your job!” Nope. Doesn’t work. Idk why. I’ve tried! It’s debitating at worst, and at best, if I think on it too long, it’s like… why is this so easy for seemingly everyone else! Just get it together! But, I cannot. 34 years into this life of trying and just cannot.

Block schedules with vague sections help me the most, but it’s far from fool proof and I frequently forget them. I try to think of my days and tasks in chunks.

Today I will:
Complete one big housekeeping task
Complete one small housekeeping task
Prepare a meal
Homeschool the kid

I can do any of those at any point in the day, and more or less as the day goes on. I do have a Family app with a calendar and stuff that I try to update but frequently forget (thankfully my husband remembers!)

Now, that’s for a stay at home parent. That will look really different if you’re single, or married, or married with a kid and working with a person at home, etc etc etc.

But maybe try to think of your life in really big picture chunks. Your life outside of work, can you put it in big pieces, and then get smaller from there maybe?

I wish I had a plan to help you work it out but as someone in the very same struggle, I’m here with you!

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I’ve had two systems. Since I’ve retired, I’m only using one - a good old fashioned wall calendar with enough space to write stuff. When I was working, I had a day planner. Both of those things are physically present, instead of an easily forgotten ap. It’s actually far less stressful to have your agenda written down, because then you don’t have an overwhelming amount of shit that you have to try and remember.

You forget to update the family calendar because you don’t do it right away after finding out you have something to schedule. Never put off adding stuff to the calendar when the need to do so appears.

You’re allowed to use a day planner, even if you don’t work.

Consistency comes with formed habits. It’s good to be flexible, but it’s still a good idea to create habits that will help. For example, get out of bed in the morning, pee, then immediately check the calendar. You could check it right after breakfast before doing anything else. You could check it whenever you want, but always at the same time daily. Do that for 30 days, and you’ll have an easily maintained lifelong habit.

It’s helpful to associate an action you want to remember with something you already do on a consistent basis. An option might be to check your schedule as soon as you finish putting dishes away. For a while, go through the motions of checking it, even if you know there’s nothing scheduled that day. After a month, if you miss checking it, you’ll notice “something’s missing” in your routine.

When your hand touches a door handle as you’re leaving the house, ask yourself, “am I forgetting something?”

Maintaining a schedule for chores helps. For example, “today’s Thursday. I always vacuum on Thursdays…” Or, “today’s Wednesday. I need to go get my free range eggs today.”

So, create habits. Associate habits with things you already do consistently. Relax! Stress leads to forgetfulness.

The initial formation of habits is a bit of a slog, but ultimately having them makes life a lot easier.