Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Can the planners of the world please stand up?

Do you think you're a planner out of necessity, because it's your nature or something else?  I think I'm a little of the first two.  In my job I'm an office manager.  While the image of this is usually payroll or my situation neither of these really apply.  I work in a building that is probably 4-5 times the size for the people we have which means facilities management.  I work with people who need a lot of hand holding.  But most of all, I plan EVERYTHING.  Office parties, moves, board name it - I'm the glue.  And the only way I can keep track of everything is a massive to-do list.

But I'm also a planner in every day life.  Whether I'm planning a vacation (especially coordinating with lots of friends), figuring out the menu for the week (yes, I write it all out) or scheduling things for the weekend it's what I do.  But is it ALL I do?  Am I a planner at home because I'm a planner at work?  Or am I a planner at work because it's in my nature and I'm getting paid for something I do well?

Sometimes it's exhausting.  In my group of friends there's a lot of planner types and I will just step back and let them take the reins.  Just tell me where to go, what to do and how much it's going to cost.  I need to turn my brain off.  Is it surprising I have anxiety?

If there is any of you out there, please feel free to share your tips to make things run smoother or thoughts in general.


  1. Hi Cass. I completely understand where you are coming from. I used to be an admin in one of the big tech companies around Seattle and all up I have close to 10 years in the administration game. I often wondered if I was an organizer at heart or if it was because I was an organizer at work. I recently retired from the admin world and have found that I'm not a natural organizer by any means! However over the years I picked up some tips;

    1. OneNote is great at keeping all your notes and lists together in the one place. And you can easily add things to OneNote - like emails, to do lists etc.
    2. Learn to push back. Don't become one of those people that say yes to everything because you don't want to appear weak or incompetent. Best thing to do is be upfront with expectations so there is no confusion. Its okay to say no!
    3. Keep all your emails. You never know when you might need _that_ piece of information. The search function on my email was used a lot!
    4. Remember to take a break! It is very refreshing for your brain to take a quick 10 minutes every few hours and helps with productivity.

    Hope this helps! :)

  2. @Emerald City Girl - I can never tell if I'm a planner or if I really just need the control over the situation, because if I'm not doing's not being done right. :-)

    But thank you for the tips, yesterday I cracked open OneNote to really see what it's all about. Coincidentally our IT guy was in town to brainstorm today and I insisted on some training for everyone on the program. So hopefully we'll be more productive.

    The rest of those are definitely ones I keep in practice. IT yells at me for keeping all my emails but even with all the folders it's still necessary. And with such a large building I have to get up on the regular.


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