Dread Planner

The humble day planner: a type of calendar I thought I’d have no use for. Although the book Time Management for System Administrators certainly recommends one, my schedule has rarely been complicated enough or unpredictable enough for me to feel the need for one. Yet I now have one, and it’s kind of special.

Unlike (I assume) most other day planners, this one has places to track how far you’ve traveled, what you’ve had for breakfast, how many books and movies you’ve seen, hours worked, whether you learned something, your friends, their dietary restrictions, and your ratio of good times and bad times with each.

It appeals to both my highly organized and my absurd sides.

For example, I can now tell you that in January:

  • I traveled an average of 37 miles per day.
  • My breakfasts were: 70% Protein Shake, 16% Food Bar, 9% Pancakes, 3% Eggs
  • I read three books with a total of 1,086 pages.
  • I watched an average of 1.28 hours of television per day.
  • I saw only one movie, Best Worst Movie (documentary, 93 minutes.)
  • While my friends tracker shows zero bad times (yay!), it doesn’t show too many good times, either (boo.) This probably has something to do with my work tracker, which is solid black and seems to be bleeding over into the next few pages. (Maybe I shouldn’t have filled it in with a big black Sharpie.)

There is one more tracker that I found enlightening, the “Dreading/Looking Forward To” tracker. It’s a string of bubbles (twelve strings, actually) that represent each day of the year by month. Another series of bubbles serves as a key: “Dreading,” “Looking Forward To,” and “Over.” I think that one’s meant to color in the bubbles with colored pencils. I don’t have any, so I’ve been making happy and sad faces in the bubbles. And do you know what? In January, the “Dreading” faces outnumber the “Looking Forward To” faces by 7:1.

The good news is that many things that looked like boogiemen on the way in, looked like grumpy old men in Halloween masks on the way out. So I can, at least, get that big black Sharpie, and change those past “Dreadings” to “Overs.”

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