Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Power of Planning

WHOOOOOOOOOA! It has been a while! I am so sorry to keep you waiting, but between the new product announcements from Beachbody and my upcoming (now past...sigh) vacation I was BUSY!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am constantly on the go and busy - constantly. Not a day goes by that I have "nothing to do"...and if I find myself with nothing to do, I am scheduling a meeting with someone or spending some quality time with friends and family. That being said, planning to do ANYTHING can be difficult at times (just look at my lack of planning for blog entries recently!)

I feel like, for someone like me, your goal is to plan. You sit there and say, "I'm going to map this out. I'm going to strategize. I'm going to budget this trip. I'm going to plan, plan plan." But do you ever fully plan? I guess the question is, can you ever really plan? And if you can - do you stick to your plan?

I find this amazing sense of calm when I get to stick to a plan that I made for myself. A while ago, I posted about running down in West Virginia. I planned the entire 10 mile day, plus the swimming afterward..right down to what Subway sandwich I was going to get. And you know what? I did everything and had a great day. Planning was KEY!

That's why it's so important to adequately plan your day in advance. When you plan out what is going to happen, you know what to expect, are prepared, and feel accomplished at the end of your day. I know some people are shaking their heads saying, "I prefer to be spontaneous" and who doesn't?! You are looking at the Queen of Randomness right here, but if I have a lot to get done in a small amount of time - I've gotta plan.

The easiest way that I have found to do this is through Google. That Google Calendar is the best damn thing ever. I synced mine up to my iPhone, my iPad, etc and it simplifies my life in ways that I cannot explain. You want to color code activities? Done. You want to set yourself reminders? Done. You want it all in one place? Done! I-Love-It.

Now, planning isn't easy..it takes practice and many times of "falling off the wagon" in order to get it right. And like I said, sometimes it's hard to stick to the plan..but I find that when it is in front of me that it is much more simple than if I just "think about it". Not to mention, its a great way to keep communication open with your spouse! My hubby and I are constantly on the move between our careers and sometimes it's hard to remind someone when you will be missing dinner because of a meeting, or when they won't be available to take the dog to the vet. The Google calendar, being synced with the iPad at home, fixed that problem for us! Now he can make entries, and I can make entries, and we can have this great picture in front of us of what our week looks like.

The key to planning is to stay open to alternate routes. I always keep spots of time available in case something comes up last minute. Similarly with my tasks, I never number them 1, 2, 3...I start with 3 because that way I know that I have 2 spots open in the event that someone has an emergency that needs to be completed in the office. 

Try it! Try mapping out your week just once and see what you accomplish. Set time up for everything. Have you been meaning to clean out your car? Schedule an hour of time to do that in your week somewhere and watch how much more likely you are to complete it than if you just left it in your mind as "something you'd like to do today". Goooogle...

Planning is powerful, people.  Plan on!

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