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.