What’s getting in the way of your plan?

How much planning is too much planning?

If you like to plan ahead, but still don’t feel organised, there’s a danger in spending even longer getting your act into gear.  You can obsess over stuff for a week, or even a month, with the intention to plan ahead for every last second of time.

Then, to your annoyance, something comes between you and your plan.  Then another thing gets in the way.  It could be something small, like an important phone call when you mean to be writing.  Or it could be a big deal, like you get flu and can hardly move for a few days.

They aren’t your fault (unless you meant to turn your phone off, perhaps…).  But less important matters also tend to get in the way.  Sometimes we don’t even notice.  Without warning, a whole day has whizzed past and nothing’s been done.  Fast forward a week and you wonder just how the time has flown by.

photo by woodsy

photo by woodsy

Even the most organised person doesn’t have to stick rigidly to their schuedle.  They probably can’t. After all, life happens.

The idea is to work out what activities get in the way, so you’re more aware for preparing future plans.

Each time something unexpected or unplanned gets in the way, write it down and note how long it took before you were back on track with the planned list.  Whether it was self-induced or totally unavoidable, mention it.  Don’t be shy.

This will help you discover:

  • Tasks you hadn’t considered that are part of your regular routine;
  • Necessary time-wasters, such as using the toilet, getting dressed, standing in a queue, waiting for a computer to log you in to a network, and so on (be as brutal as you like…it’s your time that’s being managed!);
  • How disciplined you are in your approach;
  • Stumbling blocks.  Things you thought you could do without, but that you would rather keep as part of your life;
  • The amount of time you want to dedicate simply to relaxation;
  • A more realistic outlook of time and an idea of where you need to start managing time better.

The exercise helps on a number of levels.  You may even realise that the enthusiasm you thought you had could be cranked up a notch. Or you may find a passion you didn’t even know you had.

Time is a strange thing.  There’s never enough, yet we seem to have more time than ever for leisure.  That’s why an exercise like this is vital in understanding just where your time goes.

When you’re done, was it a satisfactory result?  Or is it time to change?

I do this every now and then.  I don’t remember a time when it didn’t make a change for the better.

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