Are you a planner? A post by Josh

Are you a planner?  I don’t mean do you use a planner: I mean are you a planner.  It’s an interesting question.

Some context; I was discussing my estate plans with my attorney and she asked me if I was “a planner.”  I hesitated, thinking to myself “well, I use a planner” before answering yes.  I’d never thought about it, honestly.

The thing is, while planner use is a relatively recent development in my life, I’ve always been a big planner.  I am always making plans.  I overthink everything, I get so involved in thinking out every detail that I become overwhelmed and can’t do anything.  But while I’ve spent a huge amount of time planning, I’ve spent relatively little time or effort realizing those plans.  I would think something out, visualize it, work through lots of the details, and then promptly forget the whole thing.  Discovering the planner short-circuited this pattern; it got the plans down on paper where they could not just disappear; got them to a place where I felt forced to decide whether to act upon them or not.  If they are worthwhile, I could flesh them out.

The thing that is magical about this is that I’m not trying to become someone who I am not; I’m not trying to force myself into an uncomfortable role.  I am simply taking something I’m already doing naturally and, until recently, somewhat unconsciously and tweaking it to make it productive.  Take all those dreams and plans and ideas and shortcuts and flesh them out and act on them.

This discovery makes me pause and think about how we approach planning.  When we think about planning we focus on the format, the mechanics, the process.  We don’t seem to spend much time looking within ourselves to see what our unique planning strengths are and to discern the best method to utilize those strengths.  But this is where we need to start.  Think about what you do naturally; how do you start projects? More specifically, how do you start thinking about projects?  What is the impetus?  If you work with your natural tendencies you will achieve far more success.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

5 thoughts

  1. Interesting…. very. I’m a planner user but I’d have to say no about being a planner. I’ve never been very focused on making things happen and have been more content to react. I’m not sure that has served me well but it is more natural to me… More comfortable. That said I always do have personal ‘wants’ circling around my unconscious. Hmmm… this is food for though 🙂

  2. I think I’m more of an ‘organiser’. I don’t always plan my work, or projects, but I do have to write things down. When I go on a trip, all of the details need to be printed and placed in a plastic wallet. I have to write down our proposed plan and where we should be at what time. I like to know that everything is definitely in order!

  3. While reading this post I realized how often I’m focused not on the plan but on the *process* of the plan. I’m a perfectionist and I’m so obsessed with making the perfect journal, the perfect planner and so on that in the process I lose focus on the goal itself. I wonder whether sometimes it would be better to cut off some details and to have little more straightforward approach.

    1. I think a great many planner fans are exactly like this. I can’t be too perfectionist about my Filofax but I am definitely about my notebooks. I think that is why I hate to start writing in them!

  4. I am very impatient and I want everything to happen NOW so I find that planning and writing down what is coming up calms me down and makes the waiting easier. I can look each day and see that it is that much closer.

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