Planning ahead can keep you out of most trouble. You knew, didn’t you? When you get super stressed and angry at everyone in traffic, it’s really because you left 15 minutes later than planned, right? So count backwards, and get the things you REALLY need to get done, done in time. And then DON’T start seven other things that you just thought of and may be able to pull off. Don’t be a time optimist – be a time realist, then YOU will be happier.
And when you know that you get really grumpy if you don’t get any food for hours, then make sure to always have some slices of carrot or almonds/raisins in your bag. I must look like a hamster, always bringing food – and starting the morning laying out my small snacks at my desk. But uh, I tell you: it’s for the good of all of us!!
Don’t use planning as an excuse to get even more stressed (and stressing others out). Some mornings my husband actually asked me to get out of there, because I was planning, managing and shooting out orders and stressing them all out.
So: how to use this skill to make time for the IMPORTANT things. So many of us manage it to perfection when it’s about getting kids ready for school on time or getting that work project delivered on time. But when was the last time that you planned to perfection in order to get time to just do YOUR thing?
A colleague was offering ½ hour meditation for a group of us every fortnight. There would have been enough excuses to not be able to go, but I really wanted to try it out and make it happen. And then you realise how many of the “fixed things” you can actually make fluid. How agendas and meetings can be adjusted, made short and to the point, and how you can plan to get that ½ hour fitted in.
Well, I’m not a doctor dealing with life and death situations – but really, most of us aren’t. We just think our work is life or death. Anyway, that ½ hour every fortnight has been a real blessing. Learning how to relax and visualise my way to the most serene, relaxing situations – and coming back after half an hour with new energy worth HOURS.
So think of this: keep fine tuning your planning and time management skills to make everything run more smoothly, because you have thought and planned ahead. And then make sure to plan for some time for just YOU every week. Enjoy planning!