For the last two days, I’ve woken up during the night in a state of panic. Not the flat-out terror kind of panic where I lie awake trying to figure out what made that noise or the kind that sends me rushing to check on my kids, but the kind of panic that wakes me hours before I’m supposed to get up, with my mind racing to nowhere and my heart beating a few knocks faster. And then I can’t go back to sleep. The real problem is that I can’t figure out why.

It’s true that I have a lot going on right now. I’m pretty busy at work, in the community, and at home. While not every project is going swimmingly, I’m fairly pleased with the general state of things. In any case, I don’t think there is anything significant to worry about.

So why do I feel as if I’m racing the edge of a cliff with reckless abandon?

My best guess says that these activities and tasks that are piling up threaten my ability to wrangle them into submission. That means that if I want to have a chance of getting a good night’s sleep, I need to show them who’s boss. Control freak that I am, I need to get organized.

Today I’m going to make lists, review my calendar, push papers, and create files. I’m going to put everything in its place and make sure everything has a place in my life. I’m going to take control and quell the panic.

That’s my plan, anyway. When the going gets tough, that’s how I get going. Most of the time it works for me.

My point is that I have a plan. Without a plan–even if, in some cases, the plan is to wing it–you need a plan to keep you from dissolving into a quivering mass. You need a plan to be effective. What’s yours? How do you keep your life in order? I’d love to hear it; I hope you’ll share.

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