Planning! I’m going to learn to do it . . . later

I am not good at planning. Well, I’m OK at life/social planning because that usually involves someone inviting me to a party and me accepting. I put it on my calendar, I go to the party, and have a nice time. I’m so good at that! (A “family planning” joke just popped into my head but I think I’ll just leave it out…)

I’m not so great at the programming planning aspect of my job. I have a lot of ideas, that’s for sure, and sometimes I even decide to implement them. Then . . . it’s the day before and I realize that I have this event the next day and what have I done for it? Very little. Yikes. This happened to me this weekend when I realized Saturday night that I had two programs this week (a “Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” movie party and a time capsule* construction program) and I had done little to no planning for them. Now, this is partly the summer’s fault. It’s almost the end of summer reading and, frankly, I’m tired. During the summer, I do twice as much programming with half as much planning and prep time. People are on vacation so I’m covering the desk more and during the beginning and the end of the summer tons of patrons are in to get their summer reading books. It’s busy and I’m to the point of being worn out.

I had to scramble a little bit to prep for the programs over the weekend and they were fine when they happened. Not spectacular, but fine. I think the City of Bones party would have worked out a little better if I had more people there, but I feel like I should have had some sort of small attendance contingency plan. I am taking some small comfort from Brandy Danner’s article in June’s VOYA, which I wish I could link to here but it’s not online, entitled, “Reality Check: Pulling Small Victories from Big Failures.” Basically, she says not to get too discouraged at low attendance because it could be a lack of planning (maybe my fault) or many other factors like timing, the busyness of the students, etc. And to take the opportunity to make connections with those happy few when you can.

But this doesn’t mean I can slack off on the planning. Some things that I’ve found help me present good programs are: knowledge of what I’m presenting, practicing a craft beforehand (essential!), weekly to-do lists, putting items on my Google calendar, looking at said Google Calendar, and time at my YA desk, which is not always possible. I’ve found that people asking me what I’m up to programming wise helps, too.

Anyone have any advice for planning for me? Please?

*I also realized I’m incapable of pronouncing the word “capsule.” It always comes out as “cap-sue-uhhhhllllll.” It sounds gross. A coworker told me to ignore the “u,” but it’s there and I can’t ignore it anymore than I can ignore the “l” in “folk” or “yolk.” I blame the Midwest.

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3 thoughts on “Planning! I’m going to learn to do it . . . later

  1. Gerard Donahue says:

    One suggestion is to see an organizer consultant to help with organize your items you need to get done including in your apartment or house.

  2. Brandy Danner says:

    Hey, thanks! (The article is available in some databases, but I’m too lazy to look it up at the moment. Sorry.)

    Summer planning is HARD. I could probably give you a list as long as my arm of programs I ran by the seat of my pants. Most of them worked out okay, with only a couple of days’ prep time. Others I was happy to cancel for low enrollment because, oh right, I have that big program tomorrow, whoops.

    I’m no Pollyanna*, but really, it’s not your fault. Teens are fickle, summer is busy, and life will go on. If you think it had promise, try it again sometime with more planning (maybe in advance of showing the movie, or something). If you were unhappy with it start to finish, consign it to the Forgotten & Unloved Programs bin and forget about it.

    I’m glad the article was helpful to you, though! 🙂

    *understatement

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