To Plan or Not to Plan

It’s not really a question you have to ask yourself. Unless like me, you realize you may have a slight addiction to planning that’s getting in the way of you DOING anything to bring your plans to fruition.

Hi WordPress. My name is Dana, and I’m a planner-holic.

I was a Franklin Covey addict for many a year, spending upwards of $100 plus dollars to get the latest cover, fun calendar inserts, and accessories. I’d eagerly start each new year with the intent of being most productive; my planner was going to guide me to getting all of my to-do’s to done. I’d never forget another birthday, meeting, or important event. Of course, I’d have to buy pens with which to color code my entries. Oh, the joy.

Side note: if you ever take a tour of my past planners, you’ll notice that the latter months of the year tend to be fairly blank. It is rare that a planner of mine gets used the entire year. Don’t ask me why. I think I get to a point where the thrill wears off and I stop using it. Or, right around the time the new planner designs are launching for the upcoming year, I fall out of love with the planner I’m using in anticipation of the new edition arriving in just a few months. Speaking of which…

I didn’t think anything would lure me away from Franklin Covey, ever. But then…this self-help guru I was following at the time, released a planner. It wasn’t fancy by any means, but I bought it anyway, you know…just in case. Sigh…Ive bought one every year since. The dated, undated, weekly, and daily. Sometimes one of each in the same year. As I mentioned, it’s a sickness.

My love affair with the guru’s planner was at its height when a writer friend of mine here on WordPress casually mentioned she was using something called a Bullet Journal. The more she posted about it, the more I came to believe it was just the thing I needed to uh, supplement my beautiful, coil bound (largely unused) planner. I would use the Bullet Journal or BuJo if you will, as a daily carry – someplace to put the to-do lists based on the plans I’d written out in my planner. So, I grabbed a spiral notebook I happen to have lying around and got to Bullet Journal-ing.

Goodness help me, that’s also the time I discovered the Planner community on YouTube. I fell so far down that rabbit hole, it was ridiculous. Dot grid notebooks, designer spreads, all the different planner companies, coil bound, disk bound; the different sizes, layouts, and functionality. And please, don’t get me started on the stickers, pens, stencils, and washi tape, Oh My!

By the time 2020 rolled into view, I was ‘planning’ to use Five. Different. Planners:

  • a disc bound version with a weekly, vertical layout that I was going to use for health and fitness tracking,
  • a coil bound goal setting planner to plot out and track my progress on my goals for the year
  • my self-help planner, daily, to plot and track my ‘spiritual’ goals and activities,
  • the undated weekly version of the self-help planner to plot out content for my social media channels, and lastly,
  • my trusty BuJo to carry around my task lists.

It took all of two weeks of the new year for me to become tired of all that planning. Fortunately, sort of, Rona came into town – the social shut down gave me an excuse to put my planning on hold. Toss in my mini-break down on May 29th and the subsequent therapy, and you have the perfect time for me to come face-to-face with my planner addiction.

All of that plotting, planning, color coding, stickerating, and what not wasn’t doing anything to help me live my cliched, “best life”. My passion for writing, publishing my books, coaching new writers, and being social…well, socially distanced as only a true introvert can be, none of that came from having a binder full of plans.

In fact, what I realized, is that all of my addictions are cleverly disguised way s to procrastinate. And honestly, it’s a little late in my life to be putting off till tomorrow what I can do today. So, I’m committing to planning less and DOING more as I establish what I want my life to be under our current circumstances. I do hope you plan to stick around ;-).

…see what I did there?

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