Lately (today) I have consciously become less like my family I live with and more like my grandmother in the way I prepare for things. My family is very last minute, very create-a-plan-but-then-illogically-forgoe-it-and-forge-a-new-harder-one, and very willing to suffer the consequences of ignoring the clever motto of the boyscouts- in fact, I think that for Dad at least, he doesn't notice that his planning is deficient, and the minor hardships like hunger or nausea at a baseball game (from either not eating or eating the food available) or blisters hiking or dry skin camping are all a source of pride or at least acceptable and healthy and to avoid them is... prissy, maybe? I internalized all of this message when I was younger, and coupled with my laziness I became entirely willing to do without helpful little things like a towel after my bath, gloves at the snow, and an eraser at school. But that way is actually not as good as the way my grandmother is a master at, and most other people are at least proficient.
Here is the system: You spend time that you could be sleeping, internetting, dancing, or reading preparing. This makes you more comfortable in the long run. Before bed you fill a glass with water and cover it with another one, upside down. You carry two hairbands on your wrist in case of wind or snapping. You have a little in between times occupying object, yarn and sticks or ink on pages, or ink and pages or a camera. Your purse is big enough to carry purchases home in. Your socks are comfortable for walking. You carry a light jacket and wear a long sleeved shirt. There are hundreds of little things, little stupid things, that make daily life less like camping and more like a lovely hotel.
If you want everything in your life to be unbelievably smooth, here are some little tricks I have either invented or picked up on: write things in a planner. when you shop buy things you are going to want, even if you are not out yet. Carry around the last change you got in your wallet, so that at the next shop you can give the clerk some of it and keep more light money. Clean your body and your clothes at different times- this one is sooo counter intuitive, but you will not get any hot water if you put a load of laundry in and then go to your bath, you will just have a cold, cold bath and it will not be relaxign and the soap won't even work as well and then you have to sit in the tub air drying before you put your dirty clothes back on. Do a bit of math to find out how long you can read at night: First, write down the time you have to be there. Subtract 2 hours if it is a medium distance away. That is the time you get up. Then write the length of sleep you function best after. Count back until you get to the time you should go to bed. Example: Miko's house at 9:00-2=7:00. 7-8=-1. So one hour before midnight, eleven, is when i should go to sleep tonight. Throw away things that are really unhelpful,. like pens that don't write.
Here are some things you should definitely not do, it seems like useful preparation but really it is just overkill: Reorganize things, like your bookshelves, when you are at a critical time for a project. Worry, especially when you run the same scenario with the same issues over and over. Have really strict organization rules, like alphabetizing and color coding. It is really too complicated then to remember where your green skirt or your book by brian andreas is. Instead, have little bins of similar things, like pens or yarn, but no internal organization that is arbitrary. It is okay to organize magazines chronologically or cds alphabetically if it really saves time to do that, but for most things just streamline your collection. Don't make your bed, and fold socks and whatever else useless things you do with fabric. Socks, socks are such a time waster. You should probably have like 15 pairs of socks, half the pairs for dressing nicely and half for everyday. And the nice ones should all match, and the daily ones all match. If you are too new to organization to have this setup, at least ignore pattern matching and only focus on weight/texture matching.
And also you should probably make a little Mendel type square, with the top being important not important and down the side being urgent not urgent. You put all of your tasks into the boxes and that prioritizes it for you. Also, I have not done this but i think if you have a lot in the boxes you should highlight the ones you really like, and try to do every other task is a highlighted one, so you don't burn out.
So that is my important message for today. I would have liked to tell you about my day in San Francisco, but in the Mendelesque box it was unimportant and not urgent, just highlighted, so I chose the imprtant not urgent list of important facts to impart.