"Procedures evolve with no thought and then they become 'the way to do things'.  But, just as with beliefs, we should look at what procedures are working and which aren't and prioritize them.  Then we can consciously, rationally, systematically create a procedure that works!"  (Even Aristotle commented on this:  "The unexamined life is not worth living", as it is so full of unexamined, uncorrected crap that doesn't work that it makes life so unnecessarily difficult.)

"It takes effort to devise a checklist and/or a procedure.  But the effort is only spent once and then it has payoffs that go on forever, adding so much to life over time!"

"The reason we don't fix our problems is that we are too busy handling the effects of our problems.  Seldom do we think we have time to solve one at a time - but that is the only way to solve the problems - and to not ever have to be too busy ever again!"

"A great way to live a frantic life is to accumulate lots of problems so that you've more than filled up your emotional space.  And then somehow we start to expect that we 'should be able to handle this' and 'what's wrong with us if we don't?', as if we were not limited by human limits.  'Hey, we just haven't evolved that far, so live with it, dude!  Life really ain't bad!'" (See The Effects Of Unrealistic Expectations In Life And In Relationships - A Major Creator Of Unhappiness -  Needlessly!.)  


I make schedules allowing for plenty of time but then choose to do other things -- like making sure I pay off a credit card so I dont get a fine. Obviously if I stayed on top of things and have on my schedule time slots for bills, mail (which I do) I might have time for the PG.

So my apt looks like a war zone and i must whip it into shape

but for me follow thru is lacking.....largely because I am always putting out 'brushfires' -- just so many seemingly urgent matters that I see as more important  than exercise, PG talking bank out of $35 penalty for late payment on card.


It seems that most people either don't bother to or don't know that they should learn about j"systems", which are most often simply procedures on how to get things done in an orderly and sensible way.  Of course, this takes some effort to write out what is going on and what the right way to do it might be (and we often will need some consulting for ideas and/or a check up to see if our ideas are correct).

The process begins with writing down and prioritizing what are causing the problems and the steps to handle them.

It seems, for Barbara, that she is constantly having emergencies and problems around her purchases, other people's performance, and juggling her money between accounts.  Those are all problems that she is perpetuating.  So she needs to acknowledge them (not that she hasn't pointed them out) as problems to actually solve and not just observe and complain about.  And, in the email, it appears she is seeking to do that solving - that's great!


The money handling problem is solved by:

Making sure your bank account has an overdraft provision, which may require you to have security at the bank, such as a certificate of deposit.  Move sufficient moneys to the bank, even if it does not have a competitive rate. 

Make sure all your income is automatically deposited to that account.  Do not have other accounts.

Leave an extra $500 in the account besides what you have calculated you need.

Arrange to have all your credit cards and other payments made automatically by the bank. 

Implement a "twice monthly" (tickled on the calendar) checking up time to make sure things aren't too far out of whack.  Do not, unless it is a super emergency, do any more than that.  (I simply look at my statements to see if there were any unauthorized charges and then put the statement in a box - and I'm done with it.  Total time for the month:  less than 5 minutes, for ALL of my cash flow management.)


Stuff lies around mostly because there is no easy place to put them - and we're too busy or too anxious about getting things done to even bother with such trivia.

The solution, which does not produce great beauty, is to decide the major categories and label boxes or some kind of suitable container for most of the pieces - and then just throw things in the boxes - including the one labelled "sort later". 

Then, when one needs to have a clean space such as for company, one piles the boxes in an out of site area, such as a closet or closed door room.  And spends a little time picking up the stuff strewn about the house.

This, of course, is a system, known as a procedure. 


With this skill, you will be able to eat fish for a lifetime, as you will have learned to fish, metaphorically, rather than having to depend on others to provide a fish for the day. 

Read the contents/links sections in the box on the upper left and two books from the resources lists. 

"'Tis best to remove one's ignorance, rather than persisting in it - and then often defending oneself from comments about it."
Excerpted from Follow Up On Call.