Why Bother Planning?

By Patty Gardner

Do you ever feel like planning is a waste of time?  As soon as you get your list made, everything changes!  Or you start out strong but then it all falls apart.  And when you finally sit down at night and evaluate your day, you did little or nothing of what was on your list.  It’s discouraging and sometimes it makes me feel like planning is a waste of time.

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But it’s not.  Even though it might seem like it, planning is still one of the best things you can do.  And here’s why:

1. You can’t have Plan B without Plan A.  If you start out with a plan but then things change, as they always do, you can look at Plan A and make decisions and adjustments.  And chances are, you’ll still end up having a productive day because you started with a plan.

2. Without a plan, you spend your day reacting to whatever comes up.  You might get some things done but they may not be the things you needed to do.  You spent your day putting out fires and that’s no way to live!

3. You get more done with a plan than without a plan.  This is absolutely true for me!  Without a list, I tend to piddle.  I end up spending time cleaning out a closet or re-doing my recipes when I should have been cleaning the bathroom, making dinner and paying the bills.  Having a list is like having goals.  Not having a list is like wandering aimlessly through the desert.

4. Even if you can’t get everything on your list done, a list shows you what needs done.  Maybe you’re one of those people who can keep a list in their head and always knows what to do next (like Mr. Organized, my husband).  I’m not like that.  If I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist.  I need a list so I know what to do.  Even if I don’t get it all done, the list is there to remind me.

5. A list provides a written record of what needs done and what you did.  I frequently look back to see when or if I did something.  And I don’t have to worry that a task will be forgotten because I have it written down.  If it’s written down, it’s safe.  If it’s swimming around in my head…oh, boy, that’s never good!!!

Even if it seems like making a list or having a plan is a waste of time, it isn’t.  And unless you’re like Mr. Organized, a list is probably going make the difference between a productive day and a day spent putting out fires.

So whip out your planner and get your list ready for tomorrow.

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