A friend passed along a planning template with a section on “lifetime goals.” There was a time when this idea seemed compelling to me, and I wrote a personal mission statement, developed long lists of goals, and envisioned what I wanted people to say at my funeral.
Now, I find I want to break things down a week or two at a time. Get through what is directly in front of me. I could spend a lifetime, after all, figuring out my lifetime goals.
While I was teaching this past fall, I had an institutional membership to the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity. Yesterday, this planning workshop helped a lot.
I sketched out a plan for between now and June 30. Before I went to bed last night, a quick calculation revealed that I am attempting to wedge an estimated 366 hours of work into 294 available hours.
"That's very specific," M said. He is not as much of a planning junkie as I am. This is a man who, until recently, did not keep a calendar. Instead, he noted important events or tasks of the day on his hand, in black sharpie.
It's tempting to use all available time figuring out what to do first. Today, I am back at the revisions I have been dragging around with me for weeks. The workshop leader referred to studies that show we underestimate how long things will take (and overestimate how much we can actually accomplish) by a factor of 2.5! She of course meant other people, not me.