Birthdays. We all have them, every year, and yet when they come around we have the tendency to still be surprised by them. Bizarre though it is, every year we find ourselves, on the eve of a loved one’s birthday thinking “Aaagh! What am I going to get them?”.
Although it’s not really that bizarre. You see, birthdays happen every year and they stay exactly where they are, so it’s not like they scream for our attention in the way everyday life does. If you forget birthdays and special occasions, it may just be because you have a busy life.
When you’re constantly having to deal with one thing or another, it can be tricky to keep an eye on the things that don’t move. And then, if your partner’s birthday is on the 27th of August, you find yourself catapulted into a panic on the 25th. You’d promised yourself you’d be on top of those things this year! What happened?
What happened is that with every new year, the slate gets wiped clean. If you are going to keep up with things that happen during the coming year, you need to be in planning mode by the last gasps of December. Set out a schedule for the coming year, and make it watertight.
Make The Most Of The Digital Age
We are living in a time when almost everyone has a cellphone that performs more roles than most of us ever use. About twenty years ago, would you have had a day-to-day planner in the house? A surprising number of us wouldn’t have.
Now, it’s an app that comes as standard on your phone. Use it! Before the year even gets started, fill out every important birthday and set reminders. Your phone should allow you to do this for weeks in advance. So on the 20th of August, your phone will send you a text: “X’s Birthday! Send Flowers!”. The day before, you can have a reminder that says “Party Tomorrow. Bake cake“, and so on.
Don’t Automate Everything…
Of course, there is a downside to allowing your phone and your computer to take over jobs that your brain used to do. Part of what makes gifting special is the aspect of surprise. The personal element makes a difference. So for example, you may have a standing order with your local bakery to bake and deliver a birthday cake every year.
But planning for everything to be done automatically does have its drawbacks. If you’re not acting on impulse from time to time, then gifts end up just happening. In other words, don’t just wait for reminders. Have them there as a security blanket, but check a month ahead to make sure you aren’t about to miss a birthday. Then kick into gear with some novel, personal ideas.
The More Prompts You Have, The Better
As well as using your phone and laptop to ensure you are ahead of the curve, an actual wall planner is an invaluable part of your planning. Let’s face it, when you’re looking at your phone it is easy to be distracted by news, games, and Tweets.
A physical reminder of your schedule, right there on a prominent wall, is impossible to ignore and clearly has just one purpose. You can never be too covered when it comes to reminders!