This week was supposed to be the most depressing week of the year according to some analysts. It's just far enough away from the Christmas holidays for all your shopping expenses to show up on your credit card statements, your summer vacation is too far away to look forward to, and the weather (in my region) is gloomy and doesn't inspire you to do anything but stay at home and wait for it to pass.
How do you fight the gloom and motivate yourself?
I have realized that my main weapon is planning. I like to plan everything. From my daily schedule to a monthly activity plan, from my vacations for the year to weekly work assignments and trips to my parents' place. I like to plan free time, busy time, anything, and everything. It's not that these plans need to be perfectly shaped to show every last detail, and it's not like I have to follow them through-and-through without allowing any flexibility along the way. But plans—no matter what form or shape they come in—give me a frame to work within in order to get closer to my goals.
Besides helping me stay focused, plans also give me something to look forward to. Even if my vacation is far away, I can still start planning for it today. Where will I go, and when, and with whom? I can investigate locations, do the advanced booking (maybe even get some discounts :) ),and shift my thoughts from gloomy weather to that fantastic beach, ensuring that something fun will happen in the near future.
Working with different IDUG teams did not teach me to plan, but has emphasized many positive aspects of planning and exposed the drawbacks when there's a lack of it. IDUG has been a fantastic training platform as the conferences, projects, and small coordinated efforts cover many different aspects of planning and execution.
This month I'm looking forward to the IDUG Strategy Planning Workshop, where we'll discuss our mission and review our goals as well as the steps we'd like to take to get us there. We're always asking where and how we should grow in order to stay atop of the class education and services organization that our members are proud to be a part of.
By the way, I'd like to thank everyone who submitted their applications for different IDUG volunteer teams during the past month! It is always great to see how engaged this community is. You should be hearing from our team leads soon.
Wishing you a nice planning season! Until next time...