As I was contemplating about this topic of planning, I was taken back to my college days. I recall being so organized! Can anyone else relate? Think about it, school was the optimum place to practice our time management skills. Some of us were juggling two-three jobs, a full-time college life and a mediocre social life. I jokingly say 'mediocre' since many of us probably had to sacrifice some social get-togethers for the sake of being able to live. Yet, we were young and full of energy, so we were able to meet deadlines, go out on those occasional dates, hangout with our friends, get our workouts in while being able to get in three meals a day. However, after college, it’s like that organizational energy gets zapped and disappears in the abyss as we struggle with our time .
Nowadays, many of us barely get two meals a day. It’s more like a bird pecking at whatever food comes our way just to satiate the hunger and we call it a meal. We rarely find time to exercise or do something for our mental health. We get locked down to our jobs having no time to interact with the outside world, until one day we find ourselves looking out the window, reminiscing about how we use to have time. What changed? And how can we use our time better?
I’m not here to tell you I have all the answers, but I will say this, planning is a beautiful art. Many of us think planning is compacting our schedules with back to back events or making a dozen tasks on our list of things to accomplish in a day, although it is helpful, that isn’t goal oriented. What does your list have to do with the big picture? Daily tasks are necessities, like the lines on a picture that make up the object, but a plan is the picture itself.
Over the years, I had thought I had been passionate about planning, but what I really was doing was being passionate about crossing things off my list. I had prided myself on being organized, yet without even realizing it, I was drawing aimless lines that created nothing.
Last year, I had been introduced to the Passion Planner by some of my co-workers. I had declined getting it at first because I felt that the current planner I had was sufficient. However, once I started my business I decided to download the free PDF and give it a try. This planner blew me away.
From the start, it makes you think of the big picture. It forces you to see how your goals need to be broken down into smaller objectives and these objectives into smaller tasks to help you work towards your goals. This may seem like common sense to some, but believe it or not, many of us go through our day without a real “bigger goal” in mind.
I’m not saying your goals have to be grandiose, they can be as simple as crocheting a baby blanket. Maybe that’s your goal. Break down how many hours you can work on that blanket every day, or every week, or every month so you’ll meet your deadline. But make sure you are committed to that time frame. This will help keep you on track.
This can be done with learning a new language or a musical instrument. Break it down into small sections. Maybe you’ll do one lesson a week or study thirty minutes five times a week. Whatever your big picture maybe, make sure you know what the lines are suppose to look like to create the picture you want.
There is definitely room for adjustment and assessment. Which is another reason why I love the Passion Planner. Each month has an assessment to help you reflect on what you have accomplished. Time for reflection is vital, especially in enabling us to move forward. If we see we’ve steered from our goal, this allows us to get back on track. We’re human after all, we can’t get it perfect every time. So, don’t beat yourself up if you couldn’t stay on top of something. Just change your game plan.
Whatever you are trying to accomplish in your life, maybe a promotion, finding a better job, desiring to learn something new, enhancing your personal growth, be passionate about planning your life. When you do, the lines will start to connect and you’ll see the beautiful picture.