Planning is the key to finding time to do everything. In fact, if you don’t plan, you’ll find yourself at sea. And around you will be a floating series of tasks, priorities and dreams. They will look random and chaotic, rocking on the waves of the ocean.
So if planning is your key, how do you do it?
Focus and flexibility
Well, for starters, planning requires focus and flexibility. I emphasize flexibility because very often when we develop plans our attitude is that we must stick to them no matter what. But that’s actually not true. Life just doesn’t end there.
There is a world of difference between disciplined following and rigidity. Think about how you feel when you encounter another person’s rigid response to a change. Do sparks fly? Do you see inside? Do you feel answered or rejected?
Plans and Priorities
That’s what happens when your PLAN becomes your priority…rather than whatever his priority was really about to start. When you are moving toward rigidity, you are committing yourself so much to your PLAN that you let other parts of your life suffer. Relationships can be the first casualty.
So how do you learn to tell the difference between when you are focused but flexible and when you are being rigid in your daily life?
tell the difference
Use your judgement: Follow-up builds trust and is very important. However, going ahead “no matter what” means that you’re not really taking responsibility for exercising adult judgment and making decisions. Circumstances sometimes DO interfere with our plans. That is a reality of human life.
So being realistic about your planning and allowing for some flex time can leave room for the unexpected and can actually PROTECT the flow of your day!
Pay attention to feelings: When you feel stiff, see it as a red flag. She is telling you that you are trying to concentrate but have lost your balance. This can happen to anyone! When you notice this happening, take a deep breath and step back. ask yourself…
- “What are my core commitments?”
- “How can I adapt to what is happening right now?”
- “Is there anything I can leave out right now?”
Maybe you will change things; and maybe you won’t. The important thing is to check with yourself and own your choice. The red flag helps you pause and readjust your perspective.
Building Skills: Focus and flexibility are skills you develop, and as you develop these skills, you will find that self-reference is one of your best allies. Keep checking yourself to find your balance. You’ll feel more and more comfortable and agile as you navigate your day by flexing here and staying grounded there.
Reflect on the results: Don’t do this with a critical eye, but with friendly detachment. This allows you to draw on your experience and deepen your self-confidence and judgment.
Do you find it easy to feel balanced when it comes to focus and flexibility? Or do you resort to rigidity to maintain your limits and get things done? Ready to try something different? I’d love to hear your experiences with this whole area…and what you think!
Let’s explore time together…