Ooh, I do like the alliteration of putting planning in place – yes, I am a HUGE geek and proud of it too!
But yes, I have had a lot of clients and fellow coaches lately showing a big resistance in planning. I LOVE planning (could be the geek in me again) because I find that it gives me focus, keeps me organised and helps me to get things done while freeing up time to do the things that I really want to be doing – like spending time with my cats, family and friends and going out hiking, that sort of thing.
I have been using planning for years now; in my home, work and life and I love the freedom that it gives me. Not only do I have an idea of what I want to achieve, I know when I will work towards it and when it will be completed (not to mention when I have the nice treats such as holiday and time off)
But there are so many people, just like you, who are resisting doing planing for some reason. Some people think that it makes things boring, others that it takes up the time you could be doing something else and others just don’t like the idea of it – too much effort for what seems like very little return.
However, I am going to tell you different. By taking some time at the beginning of the week, I am able to schedule all my blog posts, emails to my clients and potential clients, plan my meals for the week, order my food shopping to be delivered and book tickets for the days off that I have planned. And the results? Free time, cheaper tickets for events and travel, more time to spend with my clients in person and no stress about having to get things done last-minute.
I personally think that is a good deal for a few hours work. That is the payback that I see from planning and I LOVE it!
Here are some steps that you can take to start putting planning into place:
Block off time for planning
Choose and block off the time for planning – like you would a meeting or appointment and stick to it. Set an alarm to alert you to get ready for the session and make sure that it happens. Remember the results of free time, saving money and enjoying the lack of stress.
Create a system
Find or create a system that works for you. Will you do it online, on paper or perhaps on post-it notes? What works best for you? For me personally, I do a paper version of my meal plan every week, I have a post schedule that I also do on paper and I have resources for planning online in Google Keep. I also do my food shopping online so that I save the time that it would take to go to the supermarket, I have the food delivered and schedule that into my breaks and I also have lists that I follow to keep me going.
Review your systems and planning regularly. What worked at first might not always work if your schedule changes or you have a week when things go wrong. Make sure that you have contingency so that you can keep your consistency and keep up with the new habit.
Use the time that you create by putting planning in place to your advantage. Take up a new hobby; do things you never usually had time for; get out and about to meet new people.
…and last but not least…
Be gentle on yourself
Building new habits can be challenging d there will be times that you don’t want to do it or you slip up. Don’t worry about it! Head back to the review stage and work out whether there is another time that might be better for you? A better system or something that just needs to change – perhaps you need to leave the office to work on it so that you don’t have the normal distractions? It is an organic process until you find your method, so just keep playing and experimenting, but don’t beat yourself up!
Resources that might help with putting planning in place:
Pomodoro technique – give yourself bursts of 25 minutes to get your planning done
Google Keep – for keeping up with lists, ideas and notes
What steps will you take for putting planning in place this week? What will you do with the time you free up? Share in the comments below:
From planning lover
PS: for more planning hints, tips and support, come and join my FREE Facebook group – click to join