Slow thinking allows you to take the time to plan ahead...to be intentional. It’s one of its biggest benefits of being in control of your own life. There are quite a few good reasons to work on planning ahead, and today I’m sharing a couple with you. If this isn’t something you do on a regular basis, I hope this blog post inspires you to get started. If you’re already a planner, good for you. Keep reading. Maybe you’ll pick up a new tip or two.
Planning Ahead Helps You Manage Your Time and Energy
I don’t know about you, but whenever I jump feet first into a new project, I tend to greatly underestimate how much time and energy it will take. By the end of the day, I’m exhausted and disappointed in how little I got done. Except I didn’t do a little. I got a lot done, but I needed to manage my expectations better.
Planning ahead can help you do this. It can also help you make sure that your day includes a mix of hard and easy tasks. You can’t work on something mentally or physically exhausting for eight to ten hours straight. Maybe you can - but it’s not a good long-term strategy. Instead, plan your day and make sure it is filled with a mix of tasks that require your full concentration and easy, mindless tasks. Plan your day and see if you don’t come out of it feeling more accomplished and less exhausted than before.
Planning Ahead Eliminates Procrastination
Getting started on a project or figuring out what your next step will be is hard work, especially if your life is your project! So, what do we do instead of getting started? We procrastinate. We clean out our email inbox or the fridge instead of working on the important project that’s due next week.
Planning ahead can help you avoid procrastinating. In my coaching membership, we call this Designing an Intentional Life. We start by mapping out your plan. What do you need to do first? What’s your next step? And the next? Write it all down. Then sit down and get to work. Focus only on your first step. It won’t seem as overwhelming, and you won’t be tempted to go find busywork. Before you know it, you will have made progress. That creates the momentum you need to keep going.
Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, stop and plan ahead. It will help you take those all-important first steps.
Planning Ahead Keeps You from Backtracking
Let’s wrap this up with the biggest benefit of planning ahead. It keeps you from having to backtrack as much as you would if you just jump into any new project. We’ve all done this. We’re excited to start and forge right ahead. Twenty percent of us realize that we did something wrong early on. We have to go back to the beginning and start over, or at the very least, spend lots of precious time fixing things.
Backtracking is a huge waste of time, but more importantly, it’s demoralizing. Nothing takes the fun and excitement out of a job than having to undo and redo work you’ve already done. Save yourself some time and stay excited about what you do by planning ahead...we do this by starting with the end in mind.
I hope these thoughts on some of the benefits of planning ahead have been helpful and that they inspire you to take the time to think and plan before you act.
This is a good time to join me with A Pilgrimage to Self Lifestyle Coaching Membership...find clarity, purpose, and direction...discover, design, and develop the action steps for your Intentional Life. GET STARTED!
Having a coach or mentor is one way to focus on and plan your personal journey...I hope you'll join me by prioritizing yourself and joining me on the PATHS to living an Intentional Life.
In what ways are you living an Intentional Life? I’d love to hear your story.
Guest Blogger Lisa McGrath
Lisa is a National Board Certified Teacher, Life Coach, International Bestselling Author and Speaker with a unique style, perspective, and musings that encourages and empowers you to examine and create the life of your dreams. She asks you to join her on A Pilgrimage to Self by finding the intentional acts that help you focus on achieving your goals and finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Her work includes inspirational, practical, and spiritual direction for everyday life as she encourages you to “air” out your own House With Four Rooms (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). She is currently working on a memoir based on the lessons learned during her walks on the ancient pilgrims' route across Spain: the Camino de Santiago.
Aside from teaching, her favorite things include traveling, textile arts, crafting, reading, eating, camping, going to the theatre, and spending time with her family.
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