Why I am already planning 2010, and how.

In 2008 after much experimentation I was able to create a calendar system that was just right for me.

Of course like anything in life I knew that it would remain a work in progress and so I have continued to tweak it, arriving at its present form.

Cycle brainstorming sheets

The calendar system comprises of five calendar sheets for brainstorming weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.

Since it is part of my “Tenacious Life System” (TLS), I’ll call it the TLS calendar. Or maybe the TaiyoJohnson Calendar. What do you think?

Here is the link to download the taiyojohnson calendar sheets(Google docs version. click here for pdf) These are also part of my cyclical time management theory

Now a bit about the methodology of it.

Here is where I prove myself either a genius or lunatic in your eyes. My bet is I will be labeled the latter and maybe (posthumously) attain to the former.

My Calendar system has 13 months

In mid-to-late 2008 I was pondering my planning system and time divisions and cycles. And I realised something important that I had not thought of before.

52 weeks, divided into perfect 4 week months equals 13 months (with 28 days each), so why not a 13 month calendar?

So starting with the first Monday of 2009 I divided my 2009 calendar into 4 week, 28 day, months. There have been many advantages of this system over a regular calendar, one of them being the boost my nerd ego (as I am on a completely different and far nerdier calendar than the masses). 🙂

Another possible benefit I am looking forward to come December 7th of this year: the 13th month.

For me, the 13th month is a bonus month. A month of inward reflection and alignment with goals, principles, values and virtues.

It is a fast from the busyness and distractions of the other months.

It starts with the mission statement

Prior to planning anything or playing with any of the brainstorming forms, you need to create a personal mission statement.

We do this because who we want to be is more important than what we think we have to do. Doing is not as important as being.

A phenomenal book for charting your course toward accomplishing the important things in life, and writing a mission statement, is Stephen Covey’s First Things First.

Big Picture: First the year

I have seven points on my mission statement.

From each of those points I come up with goals that I want to accomplish related to them that year.

I brainstorm what I think will be involved in accomplishing them and I map it out in my notebook.

I pour my heart and soul into it. I think about my passions (which I have on the same page as my mission statement) and whether or not I feel passionate about the goals I am formulating.

Once I have some thoughts in mind I begin entering them onto the “annual” sheet of the taiyojohnson calendar sheets.

Then the Breakdown

From there I break down those goals into pieces and decide what pieces to focus on during the 1st half of the year.

That goes on the “semi-annual” sheet.

Then I plan the 1st quarter, 1st month, and finally the 1st week.

Plan as you go

Plan as you move along the weeks, months and quarters. These I call the cycles. When you reach the end of one cycle plan the next. For example when you reach the end of one month plan the next.

I have a theory that time management should be cyclical. So identify the things you do once a week every week, things you do once a month, once a quarter, etc.

Try to systematise these things as much as possible.

Coming from a business background I was/am impressed by the way businesses plan their lives out in so much detail. Whereas people seem to seldom plan their lives out at all…

There are few corporations without 5 year plans, but few people with them.

(The same can be said for business/personal financial planning, but that is another story.)

I am planning 2010 now so that I am ready and aligned with what is important when it arrives.