I’ll be the first to admit, I love planning. There’s something so satisfying about planning things out so you don’t waste time and you’re on track to reach your goals.
But, then this thing called life happens. Your plan falls apart and you have to start from scratch. Those are the moments that determine who we are as people. And let’s be honest, those are the moments you remember. Times like driving to Yosemite at 3AM, talking about life until the wee hours of the morning, and coming out ahead after 17 last-minute changes at work.
Maybe you already know this, maybe you’ve already found the perfect balance of spontaneity and planning to live a happy and fulfilled life. But, for those of you who, like me, suffer occasionally from over-planning, I have a few tips that might help…
- Watch out for game changers. Some opportunities are so big, so cool, and so awesome you just can’t say no to them. Most times it’s so obvious when that happens that you don’t need me to tell you anything. Watch out for the not-so-obvious game changers too – the networking event, the blog post or article – sometimes it’s the small things that determine where you end up in life.
- Flash forward. Imagine yourself looking back at this moment 10 years from now or even on your deathbed and think about your decision from that perspective. It’s too easy to get caught up by what you wanted three months ago when you made the plan instead of what’s right for you now. Use the “am I going to kick myself later?” metric.
- Don’t forget about fun. Are you missing out because you have your life so meticulously planned that you can’t even take a coffee break? Seriously, you should ask this question. Life is not just about advancing your career. And sometimes that break is just what you needed to get your work done.
So, how necessary is planning? How do you decide when to let go?