The secret is in the details


I’m a planner. And that is to mean that I love making plans. Or rather I’m disoriented without them. By plans I mean, I always have a good idea on what i’ll be doing for the next 24hrs, a less detailed idea of what I’ll do for the next 7 days and a vague idea on what i’ll do for the next month. That is why spontaneity does not really work for me. Except for of course buying clothes and chocolate. Otherwise I refuse to attend events even if they are my kind of thing, simply because it wasn’t in my plan. And by plan i mean nothing to do with a budget to complement it. Financial management is a skill I’m yet to master. I use money as per the plans, not plan as per the money I have.
I was okay with the above system, even thought it was pretty much efficient. I mean, it’s just who I am. A planner. Until this week, when something jolted me out of my comfort zone. At the start of this semester, that is three months ago, one of our lecturers gave us the course outline for his work and explained how that unit would be tested. We would have the usual CAT 1 and 2 and in addition to that, we were to do an assignment and hand it over during the exam time. We were all good, and being the planner I am, I put it down in my notebooks, among other things to do the assignment. And the semester moved on, I hiked Ngong hills and Mt. William, I visited people, I went to Naivasha, I attended classes , I continued fulfilling the things I had written down in my notebook, I read The Purpose Driven Life, in simple terms, life moved on. And the CAT 2 for that unit was this week Wednesday(four days ago that is). And as we were coming out of the class, my friend mentioned the assignment that we are now supposed to hand in the next friday. That word froze me to the core. Like nothing has jolted me out of my comfort zone like that recently. Not because the assignment is complicated nor something that can’t be done in a single weekend or even a night if you work under pressure. But I could not believe that Mercy could be that forgetful. I know I have mentioned previously how poor my memory is, but that is why I always note down everything that is supposed to be done or given serious thought . I even remember scheduling to remind myself to think on whether I should break up with him or not. So for me to have forgotten totally about it despite noting it down for three months, was a shock to say the least. It revealed that there is a problem somewhere.
On other matters, at the start of the semester, I listened to one of Pastor Steve’s previous sermons on daily devotion. He emphasized on the need to set aside a specific time each day, buy a specific notebook for that devotion and get a daily devotion guide of your choice beforehand. I did all that. It’s been three months now, and I have noticed something interesting with myself. Anytime I wake up, previously and even now, I switch on my mobile data and in most cases, messages stream in. Kitambo, I would read them first and then plan my day. Nowadays, I find myself doing my daily devotions as planned before I now start my day. There are days when I feel like looking at the conversation I left pending last night, but even then, my daily devotion goes first. The pull from it is stronger than the pull to do anything else. Even when I’m late I’d rather read one verse and pray four lines then jump out of the bed. I didn’t plan on any of the above. There is no time I sat down and decided that I’ll be avoiding everything else until I do my devotion. But I do remember, setting that time aside for a specific purpose. And I do remember doing it consistently, until it has become my habit. Until I can’t convince this same Mercy to do anything else at that time. It has become that ingrained into my system.
On other matters still, I have a roommate who from my observation is not so enthusiastic about attending classes. But she does attend them once in a while. However, there is this specific class that is always on morning hours. I suspect it is either on a Wednesday or Thursday morning. Coincidentally, the night before that class, we are always asking each other about the next day’s classes. And her response is always the same, “nitajua ka nita-attend” (I’ll know whether I’ll attend). And as far as I’m concerned, she has never attended that class. Yet she never said she will not attend. She said she will think about it.
Do you see any correlation between my assignment, daily devotion and her never-attended class? The willingness to do all the above is always there, kwa wingi( in plenty). How come only one of the above three things was done? Yet all of them were planned for. None of them was procrastinated. Yet only one got done.
And the answer lies simply in one word. Details. All the above were planned for but only one had enough details to sail through to maturity. And there lies one of the major lessons I’ve learnt this week. If you say you’ll do something and it ends there, you will not do it, and if you do, you will do it hurriedly or as a by the way.
The secret is in the details. Write down and plan on the How, Where, When and Which. Set a spefic time for it. Set aside a budget for it if need be. They say if you don’t plan, you plan to fail. For the longest time ever I thought that didn’t include planners like me. Until now when I realize a plan without details is as good as nothing.
We have been going through 40 days of community in our church. Last Sunday we talked about serving others while this week we talked about worshipping and fellowshipping together. And on serving others and also meeting other people’s needs, last Sunday my heart got to learn to shift its attitude from “I” to “We”. But today I have come to the realization that you could have a servitude heart but still never get to serve. If asked, you might say, ” but I was ready to serve, its just that I never met anyone in need of my service to then”. And you will be right, unless you purpose to go look for an area that requires service, it will not meet you. Nothing will ever come to you. Except the consequences of waiting while doing nothing obviously. For example, don’t set money aside to buy someone needy shopping during this month. Buy that shopping and go looking for that needy person. And it is a sure event, that you will find one.
As you start your week, remember unless something has details on it, how it is going to be done, where it is going to be done and when it is going to done, then consider it failed. Don’t just plan. Have a detailed plan.
Have a blessed week people!

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