How to Prevent Planning Pitfall #1 | Untimeliness

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The last couple of Monday mornings, I found myself sitting at a nice clean desk with the realization that I had not done any in-depth planning for the last couple of weeks.
As I thought about it, I realized there are several planning pitfalls to write about. Many things can, and do get in the way of planning.

By in-depth planning, I mean
  • Reviewing my past week.
    • What I got done and didn’t get done.
    • What I did instead.
    • Analyzing why I didn’t get that thing done and then making a decision about that thing.
  • Taking a look at the calendar for the upcoming week and blocking time.
    • Appointments and meetings I absolutely need to attend.
    • Finishing the things I didn’t complete last week
    • Routine work I do each week.
When those Monday’s rolled around, I essentially knew what I was supposed to be doing, as I have a routine, but boy, did I feel out of sorts.
  • I now needed to use the time I had set aside for something else, to do the planning I had put off.
  • I started the week behind because I lost an entire hour of my day.
  • My brain likes routine, and it had to regroup and reset. Routines are extremely powerful!
The disorganization I was experiencing these past couple of weeks is a good example of situational disorganization, hence planning pitfall #1, Untimeliness.
  • The situation I was dealing with was it was the week before Christmas, and then it was Christmas, and I guess I hadn’t planned very well for the change in routine. Wrapping gifts, shopping, delivering gifts, etc.
  • I chose to just do Christmas and family stuff. Spending time with the granddaughter and the family, cooking, playing games, doing puzzles.
  • Then, yesterday, I was literally exhausted and sat on the couch all day creating a menu plan for the new year instead of planning for the following week.

I didn’t plan for the situation I knew was coming up. Christmas happens every year, so, you would think I would be more prepared. But, I wasn’t, and because of that, I paid a small price. As I am a serial planner, it wasn’t hard to get back on track.
However, things can get out of hand. If we let too many “situations” get the best of us then situational disorganization becomes chronic disorganization.
When that happens things get out of control and become a hamster wheel of disorganization.

Today’s Planning Pitfall – Untimeliness

Untimeliness is attempting to do something at an inopportune or wrong time.

In my case, having expectations that didn’t work with the season. In my personal example above, I fell into 2 or 3 pits.
I had unrealistic expectations, my plans were untimely, and I chose to wing it for a couple of weeks. When I created my December plan, I didn’t take into account that one of my planning days was actually Christmas Day, which was a Friday, my weekly review day. Nor did I take into account how exhausted I am for a couple of days after Christmas.

Your situation may be the same, or it may be different.
  • maybe you are caring for someone who is ill or you are caring for an elderly parent
  • maybe you are in the midst of a pandemic
  • you might be dealing with your own health issues
  • you have a wayward child
  • you are going through a divorce
  • you are getting married
  • you are moving

These are all situations that will take up a lot of our time and energy, so let’s plan accordingly. In times like this, emotions are high and physical energy might be low. My example of Christmas doesn’t even compare to these situations. It’s important to note how easy one can get thrown off track.

How to Prevent Today’s Planning Pitfall
  • Take a realistic look at the season you are in.
  • You may need to put your current goals on hold.
  • If you just can’t put it on hold, push out the end-date.
  • Create gaps in your schedule. Don’t load up the calendar.
  • Schedule time for self-care.

Postponing a goal because of a situation is not procrastination. This is being realistic and dealing with what life has given us.

Give yourself grace. Give others grace.

Take Action
  • Take a look at your life. What are you dealing with right now that you need to take some extra time for?
  • Take a look at your calendar. What is coming up that you will need to take some extra time for?
  • Plan accordingly

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