A Time for Planning

A Polarioid photo of Casey Palmer, circa 2002.
Casey Palmer, circa 2002, who confused “fresh to death” with “vest of death”. Hoo boy.

We need to keep life as interesting as possible, lest we lose the will to live life at all.

It sounds drastic, but it’s true. We get to January  and all of a sudden, all the awesome that happened in December is long gone, leaving us with credit card bills, miserable weather, short days and dull routines. Life is so short and yet, without fail, we do this to ourselves every year, searching for something that can get our excitement levels back up.

This week was all work and planning. Planning communication  strategies for my church. Planning out the future of Mansformation. Planning with financial planners to make sure that Sarah and I have a solid financial plan.

That’s a lot of planning, for someone who hates planning. But it’s all necessary in its own way, helping make way for bigger and better things later in the year!

Sometimes, though, it’s the little things that can make all the difference.

Changing our look. Putting a new skin on a phone. Or, in my case, working on checking items from a massive list.

Casey Palmer at Sakshi's birthday party.
There was that one party this past weekend…

To get you a little up to speed…

#5 — Sell all the stuff I’ve meant to sell

This could also be listed a “give away all the stuff I’ve meant to give away”. I’ve had a problem with clutter for ages and ages — having too much crap in my life makes me less effective as a person. It makes me invest more time in finding things when they’re misplaced, or makes me use more energy to figure out how all the bits and pieces I have stashed away in the house can work better together.

So I’m working harder at saying bye-bye to anything that’s unnecessary! Some of the stuff I’ve decided to get rid of and find a better home include:

  • My collapsible, portable easel and paintbrushes which I sold to a friend taking a painting class
  • I’m sending a Flip Video UltraHD to a friend in the States in need of a decent video camera

More to come, since I still have some boxes of other stuff around the house!

#25 — Get a local doctor and #26 — Get a local dentist

After years of self-neglect due simply to the fact that my health care providers were too far for my liking, I finally put the paperwork through to move everything to Toronto from Mississauga! Appointments are scheduled this week and next, and if I’m lucky, I’ll come out of them a changed man!

#39 — Get all the outstanding work off of my plate at the 9-to-5

With me wrapping my current role up on Valentine’s Day (of all days) due to an unexpected turn of events, this one should more or less wrap itself up nicely. A PowerPoint presentation here and an Excel workbook there should help me see the end of it and help me move on to some new challenges!

(Which is always good for me, since I lose steam if I’m working on the same thing for too long!)

#50 — Read all my old yearbook signings and candygrams to get a better understanding of the journey I’ve travelled

The seal has officially been broken on the memory box, and I’ve already started reading through a lot of old stuff.

It’s always so surprising how many memories we can forget!!!

#53 — Eat breakfast more often

Still working on refining my daily routine, but I’m getting a little better at making sure to stuff a pain au chocolat into my system — at the very least — to start my day!

#96 — Take photos at Caribana

Casey Palmer at Caribana 2003 (or so).
2003 was an interesting year, where somehow I found myself in Caribana in all sorts of compromising pictures…

Looks like I’ve made some contacts who’ll make getting a Media Pass or Marshall’s badge far easier, so I’ll follow-up with them and make some magic happen!

#98 — Carry less paper

I write my posts by hand first, and the more I get out, the more paper vanishes from my life and into the recycling bin! The plan? Keep writing and move to Moleskine notebooks and a system that’s a heckuva lot more compact! While I haven’t made it to the “Great Purge” yet, my backpack is definitely starting to get lighter!

So until the next time, remember — your character is truly determined by what you’re doing when people aren’t watching.

So why not do something you’ll be proud of?

The world will follow suit.

–case p.

2013 ‘Til Infinity — The 2013 100

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mt3vZHDiM8&gl=CA]

Dear fellow ’83 babies — this is it. The last gasp of your 20s. The last year where you can fool yourself into thinking that you’re not really an adult — that you’re a youth just playing the part.

You’ll start to get labelled. Expectations will increase. Parents will want you to reproduce, peers will ask how well you’re achieving your career goals — the pressure’s gonna be on to prove your worth in this world!

But it’s not all so bleak and dreary — 2013 can be happy and prosperous if we’re willing to put the work in!

The 2013 100

2009 New Year's Even photo of Casey with a festive hat on
In 2009 Toronto, we partied with silly hats!

For me, after wrapping up a 2012 that was all sorts of insanity, I found myself wondering: “What do I want to get out of 2013?” More money? A better lifestyle?

But then I realized that I’d never be able to choose, so I decided on another route.

Inspired by my longtime friend The Green Girl‘s list of 100 things she’d like to do in 2013, I decided to make one of my own! Unlike earlier years, I’m not about to beat myself up if I don’t get all 100 done — The 2013 100 is more like a compass to keep me pointed toward things I can do to make my life better 🙂 If you have any ideas for any of them or just want to tell me that I’m utterly insane, feel free to tell me in the comments below! And here we go!

  1. Negotiate a way better phone contract
  2. Give Sarah the present I always alluded to but never got around to giving her
  3. Start a business or two
  4. Learn to drive, learn to drive, for the love of God learn how to drive!
  5. Sell all the stuff I’ve meant to sell
  6. Start drawing comics on some sort of regular schedule
  7. Get my clothes tailored
  8. Get up-to-date on my emails
  9. Cook at least one meal
  10. Make an app
  11. Spruce up my about.me page
  12. Send personal emails to everyone who I came into contact with in 2012 about future potential opportunities to collaborate
  13. Launch the Mansformation website
  14. Update my résumé
  15. Create my creative résumé and portfolio
  16. Attend Bloggers in Sin City
  17. Do something awesome for my 30th birthday
  18. Create a collective of creatives with similar goals in mind
  19. Get new glasses
  20. Transform all the blog drafts I have lying around into real posts
  21. Merge my past 10 years of blogging into one site
  22. Start a tweetchat
  23. Start a podcast
  24. Dabble in video
  25. Get a local doctor
  26. Get a local dentist
  27. Make some money in the stock market
  28. Get ahead of schedule with the Man Lessons
  29. Create a schedule for regular website maintenance
  30. Start the SHEvolution
  31. Go up the CN Tower, one way or another, and go the CN Tower Edgewalk
  32. Visit Casa Loma
  33. Create a list of cool things to do in Toronto
  34. Run a cool 5K race, like Run for Your Lives or Tough Mudder
  35. Clean my music collection up, once and for all
  36. Establish a far better filing system for my documents
  37. Use all the different themes, templates, tutorials and eBooks I amassed in 2012
  38. Try to sleep like normal people do
  39. Get all of the outstanding work off of my plate at the 9-to-5
  40. Write my first eBook
  41. Start blogging internally at work again
  42. Call my grandparents more often
  43. Turn my negatives and slides into digital images
  44. Sort through the magazines and clippings I have strewn about the house
  45. Get at least one design submitted to Threadless
  46. Upgrade the lenses on my camera
  47. Have my family over more often
  48. Play the Wii and PS3 games I haven’t touched
  49. Attend a TED/TEDx Talk
  50. Read all my old yearbook signings and candygrams to get a better understanding of the journey I’ve travelled
  51. Plant a proper garden
  52. Clean up my digital files
  53. Eat breakfast more often
  54. Understand politics
  55. Stop buying unnecessary things
  56. Stop biting my nails when I’m stressed
  57. Write a novel for NaNoWriMo
  58. Come up with a better campaign for Movember
  59. Get a sewing machine and learn how to alter my clothes
  60. Start writing Christmas cards for friends, family and neighbours yearly
  61. Look into grants and funding for the projects I want to do
  62. Learn how to better use Wolfram|Alpha’s Mathematica
  63. Eat healthier
  64. Lose the tummy
  65. Increase stamina
  66. Create more infographics
  67. Join more social clubs that’re in line with my interests
  68. Get a stylish yet functional 3/4-length winter coat
  69. Help my Mom get tickets to CityLine and/or the Marilyn Denis show
  70. Buy a bike
  71. Go tobogganing
  72. Try some new restaurants on the Danforth
  73. Go to Pacific Mall
  74. Go to #LoserKaraoke
  75. Watch a Raptors Game
  76. Visit more of Canada — somewhere west of Windsor or east of Montreal
  77. Finish the thank you cards from our wedding
  78. Clear out my Google Reader
  79. Create a personal budget
  80. Learn how to develop a site using a UI kit
  81. Become a true WordPress expert
  82. Don’t succumb to laziness
  83. Get new casual shoes to replace the ones that were stolen from my porch =/
  84. Come up with an awesome costume for Halloween 2013
  85. Use up the gift cards, coupons, etc. I have lying around to do something useful
  86. Revitalize my wardrobe
  87. Devise a way to work from home
  88. Get my French bilingual certification
  89. Make social media a real part of how I earn an income
  90. Transfer Sarah’s old IDE hard drive onto one of my SATA hard drives
  91. Transfer all my external storage to an SSD Drobo system
  92. Get some cool-ass sunglasses
  93. Rock a new chapeau style
  94. Find a signature drink to mix
  95. Survive an entire Nuit Blanche
  96. Take photos at Caribana
  97. Spend more time outside of Toronto
  98. Carry less paper
  99. Wean off of the need for a backpack
  100. Have caseypalmer.com show up on the first page of Google search results for “Casey”

We can all make this as awesome a year as we want — but that wonderful cliché “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is always applicable. You’re not getting anything from your year if you don’t put in the work. Start making those goals happen!

Any other interesting resolutions out there? Let me know if we can help each other out! It’s always better to use the power of numbers and not stubbornly try to do things on our own!

Happy New Year to one and all 🙂

–case p.

The 2K11 24/7 CXLV: Doing To-Do Lists

So now you know all about to-do lists and how to go about doing all of the wonderful stuff you’ve planned out. But how do you go about MAKING the plan itself?
There’s no easy answer for this — read a million different articles on the topic and you’re likely to come up with a million different approaches. Many of these will be variations of one another, but the process of creating a to-do list is very personal, as it reflects the way that we as individuals like to get things done.
But, be it flowchart, checklist, sticky notes or timeline, there are some fundamental principles that can help guide you to a method that will work best for YOU.

The 2K11 24/7 CXLIV: To-Do Lists and Strategic Planning

DISCLAIMER: I tried doing a post like this once before and totally failed it since, ironically, I didn’t manage my to-do lists well enough and had no time to actually write it WELL. So here I am again, taking pen to paper (before taking fingers to keys) to write about one of my favourite things to do to sort out my life — make to-do lists.

I often say this when people ask me about the meaning of our lives here on Earth:
We are the sum of our experiences.

The 2K11 24/7 XXXII: What To Do With Too Many To-Do Lists

Happy February, boys and girls! Here in Toronto we’re under the threat of a massive snowstorm engulfing us overnight (yes, my northern friends – here, we consider 20-30 cm massive; let us not forget the debacle of 1999 where we called the Armed Forces to help us shovel), so we’ll see what the next few days are like. Obviously I’ll keep posting – I don’t think that a snowstorm will stop the juggernaut that is the Internet – but should make for interesting times!

In the comments from my post some days back, NJ and I were alluding to the fact that we’re the types to constantly keep busy. CONSTANTLY. Relaxation for me seems to be more like a punishment than any good. I get stir crazy, I start thinking about the next thing I should be working on – yeah, it just doesn’t work out for me.

To keep all of this sorted out, I use a ton of charts, to-do lists and mind maps. I’ll open a random text file and just dump my thoughts into it until I’ve come up with another pile of things that I’d love to accomplish whenever I get the chance to.

But what happens when you’ve got too many to-do lists?