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  1. #1

    Default Planning, priorities, skills and habits

    What way do you go about planning? Do you plan everything or do you only plan when you have to or when something specific is happening such as a wedding or funneral? Do you see yourself anyplace or any different in five years for instance and have a five year plan? Have you always been this way or is it something which you've had to adopt as a result of work or as you've grown up?

    Are you the sort of person who prefers spontaneity to planning and prioritising and how does that differ? What are the benefits and costs of each to you do you think?

    Sometimes I find planning and prioritising are motivating, I do it a lot of the time without thinking and it has been as a result of work, I've adopted a lot of theory, like task centering, solutions focused planning and crisis management and internalised it but then sometimes it is demotivating when I have a day that I've had no plans and realise the time has passed and I've done nothing that day or that morning or whatever.

    What about you guys?

  2. #2
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    I find that good planning saves a ton of work. Outlining what needs to be done, breaking tasks into constituent components, etc. makes the actual work seem trivial; as implementation seems to be all that's left. (I tend to plan out a project/task and dust my hands--"problem solved"--which probably takes this sentiment a bit too far.)

    "Pre-deciding," or perhaps generally adopting a set of principles, is a component of planning that gets overlooked. If one thinks about his criteria beforehand--whether food choices, tasks to prioritize, etc.--he can make in-the-moment decisions in a snap.

    Even if the plans have to be modified when new information comes in, they provide a starting point.

  3. #3
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    If there is a change in routine and/or multiple obligations are being juggled, I find planning to be helpful.

    It doesn't have to be a major life event. It could be timing a doctor's appointment and taking the kids to school or picking them up or it could be timing which week I pay which bill. I don't really have anything like a five year plan other than big projects that need doing on the house and it's more of a priority list than a detailed plan. I'm not great with detailed plans. I can make them, but I virtually never stick to them.

    I think I've always liked to know what to expect. When I get up in the morning, I want to know what the plan is and if there is no plan, I want to make one. If I don't know what is needing to be accomplished, I will just drift around doing whatever pops into my head, which may or may not involve accomplishing anything. I also like to be able to work around what other people want to do because I resent being expected to do things without warning, unless someone wants to take me out to lunch in an hour. I can usually roll with that.

    I'm okay with somewhat vague plans and I'm okay if plans change, but I just need some idea of the direction we're trying to go and a rough timeline for when we want to get there.

    I would prefer to have unlimited time, energy, and money and just do whatever I feel like doing when I feel like doing it and having other people be at my disposal at the drop of a hat. But since the universe shows no signs of cooperating with this preference, planning is necessary.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tabula's Avatar
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    I create outlines of general goals and ideas in my head (or on paper, if there are many things happening at once, such that it's difficult to keep it straight in my brain) but prefer to allow the situation to unfold itself and fill in the blanks/specifics; too much detailed planning sucks the life out of life, I think. That said, it's imperative that I periodically check up on myself to ensure I'm moving in some kind of direction, but this is very much learned, after years of aimless flailing and floating. I need structure to function properly and actually accomplish things in the world (ADHD), but structure is also something I naturally resist (I need my freeeeedom!); finding an appropriate balance is an ongoing process.

    As for five year plans: I know how I want to feel in five years--about myself, my career, others, and the world--and I have a general idea, backed by some concrete goals, of how to achieve it, but I don't want to plan my specific route to it in order to allow for some life to happen in the interim.

  5. #5
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I plan for some things like making sure I'll have enough money when I retire or for emergencies- like making sure I'll have food or water. I don't enjoy planning that much and would prefer to leave all the details to others. I get exhausted just at the thought of planning some really big event like a wedding. I do think some planning is necessary though, to prevent total chaos and to help get a desired outcome. At the library I'm expected to plan programs up to 6 months in advance which seems like a long time. What if something comes up that doesn't make it feasible? What if there is a better opportunity to take advantage of?
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