An Hour of Planning Can Save You 10 Hours of Doing - Dale Carnegie.Jan 31, 2023
Most of us know the benefits of planning/following our plans, but we also know the benefits of eating 5 cups of vegetables a day and maybe we don’t do either.
So where does the resistance come from? Our thinking about our planning.
How much harder is it to create or follow a plan when we have thoughts floating around in our head like - It feels too restrictive - I never follow it anyway – I have too much to do and don’t have time to stop and plan…
The irony is that planning can be a wonderful tool to help support us so we can get things done.
The way we think about planning may be different, but the shared commonality is when we have lousy thoughts about it, the likelihood of planning declines. Just like the likelihood of eating our veggies when we focus on all the reasons we hate green food.
A long time ago I started training my brain to love planning. There was a time in my career where I just went from one urgent mess to the next and consequently experienced a lot of unnecessary stress because I didn’t believe I had time to plan.
I read great books on prioritising and planning. I bought pretty schedules that I hoped would entice me to start and came up empty. Everything changed when I mucked up at work and missed something important. I had to experience some real pain for my brain to say enough, there has to be another way.
The reality was though I had been in “pain” for a long time before that anyway. The pain that comes with worrying about not getting everything done, stressing about missing stuff, not having enough time to devote to what’s important…
I started playing around with planning, keeping it basic and simple so it was easy for me to do. Encouraging myself to follow my plan because I had invested the time to create it and remembering that it sounded like a pretty good plan. I decided to believe that a plan could not be worse than no plan, and gave it a go and stuff started getting done on time and even ahead of time sometimes.
Interestingly, I discovered that my plan became my way of creating freedom in my weeks for what was important at work and at home, including me. I started to love my plans.
How can you start loving your plans when you may still be in the world of resistance towards planning? First step is always awareness, notice the resistance and get curious about where it’s coming from. What are you believing about your plan?
Second step, how can you start unravelling some of those thoughts you may have about planning? Have there been times in your life when following a plan worked? What were the gains from having a plan? What would happen if you reopened the door to planning and recognised it as a tool that supports you?
Third step, try planning the rest of your week. Or if that’s too much the rest of your day or the next hour maybe. Make the planning easy – focus on what’s important that will help you get closer to whatever you result you want to create in that timeframe. Pick one thing and just start there.
At the end of the week/day/hour reflect on how the experience was for you. How did planning support you? What would you like to tweak for next time? Try keeping it light and simple and start experimenting with your planning. Let's plan to make it easy!
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