Why do you need to plan, anyway? Planning isn’t a dirty word, in fact, it can really help to create less stress and more productivity in your daily routines. So, embrace planning and create plans that work for you so you can live a life that’s a little more stress free.
I am a planner.
Lists and spreadsheets have always featured heavily in my life.
…but you know what? I’m also a stress head!
Having suffered from panic attacks and crippling anxiety in the past I’m very conscious of not bringing stress into my life as much as is possible (of course life happens, but being more aware helps!).
Luckily I have worked out that with a little planning, stress levels naturally go down, and without a little planning in my life, my stress levels rise.
Having learnt this the hard way, I now plan my life as much as possible – and here are the ways that planning can help you in your daily life as well – hope they help you too.
Why Do You Need To plan?
Do you resist planning as it feels constraining and regimented?
Planning gets a bad name for itself with a lot of people who think like this, but actually planning needn’t stifle you.
It can give you a fantastically clear overview of your life and enable you to not only get more done, but reach your goals in life instead of wondering where time has gone each year that passes.
The question really should be – why NOT plan!
So, without further ado, here are my top 7 ways that planning can help you and your stress levels…
7 Ways Planning Helps Life Be Less Stressful
#1 – Creating a plan can help you to stay on track
Need to get something done by a certain time?
Having a plan will help you to work out what needs to be done and by when – it simply adds a little structure to your life, and enables you to know you’re on track without having to constantly think about it.
#2 – Planning helps to focus the mind
Have you got something you really want to do, but just never seem to find the time to do it?
Planning takes away this feeling by showing up what you’re using your time for at present, and highlights where you can change things around to allow time for other things.
It helps you look at the bigger picture instead of being caught up in the details of daily life – and this in turn can focus you more on the things that matter most to you.
When you focus you can more easily say NO to things and do more of what will get you to the place you want.
#3 – Planning reduces arguments
If everyone has access to the weekly schedule, plans for holidays etc… then there will naturally be less arguments in the house.
Everyone in the family can see where they are, what’s coming up.
This alone can stop the double booking/over booking etc… that can so easily happen when no-one knows what everyone else is up to.
If everyone is moving in different directions, with different plans and goals for their time – there is bound to be arguments and unrest, which we can all do without!
A little story for you:-
Myself and my hubby used to work shifts and also work away from home a lot, and as such we only had weekends together for many years.
This meant that weekends were precious time, where we had to fit in spending time together, spending time with friends and family, household chores, DIY etc….
Planning the upcoming weekend was critical in making sure we balanced our time as much as possible, avoided arguing about what we needed to do, and ensured that we got as much done as we could while still having a little time to relax as well and be ready for the following week.
Without a plan we would waste time, feel like we hadn’t done what we wanted, and start the week feeling behind – not ideal.
Planning helped us to wake up and get things done – and yes – planning to have a day relaxing was just as important as getting the jobs done sometimes – only by planning it though did we get the most out of it and not feel guilty!
#4 – Planning creates a Balanced Life
Whatever you want in life IS possible, if you can look at your time and plan it out more.
No time for the gym?
You may be able to squeeze in a run before work one day by shifting a couple of things around to free up half an hour.
No time to cook from scratch?
Maybe you could manage to cook from scratch at the weekend to freeze for the week ahead.
You’ll only be able to see these possibilities if you look at the time you have and how you spend it, and then plan your time with more of what you want to do as a priority.
Planning creates more opportunities for time that would otherwise have been wasted
Related: How To Live A More Balanced Life
#5 – Planning helps you to split large projects up
If something is overwhelming, you tend to put it off….
However, simply splitting these massive jobs up into smaller chunks (just like a project manager within a business would do) can help you to slot in these smaller pieces of work into your day when and where you can – and before long you will get to the end and the large task will have been done.
You can see progress, and feel less stressed knowing that you are always moving towards that final product.
For example – when redecorating a room you may have the following jobs to do:-
- Planning the new design – what’s changing / what’s staying / colour scheme etc…
- Buying furniture
- Booking a decorator
- Emptying the room ready for decorating
- Styling the room after decorating
- Removing anything from the house that isn’t going back in the room
Doing it all in one go is a huge task, but being able to tick off each task can help you to get the room done with the least amount of stress and upheaval.
All it takes is that little bit of planning up front.
#6 – Planning helps you navigate problems
Creating a plan can help you to see potential issues before they arise.
For example – planning a holiday? – knowing about other plans can help determine when to go away (my father turns 70 this year in August so it was vital that we didn’t go away for his birthday. Knowing this up front helped us to pick the right weeks for our family holiday so we could do everything and not be stressed about missing something).
If you are more aware of plans and commitments then you are less likely to double book, less likely to miss things, and more likely to be less stressed as you don’t have to cancel and rearrange things – perfect!
#7 – Planning is satisfying!
How do you feel when you wake up in the morning knowing what you need to do that day, and knowing you are prepared?
It’s a much easier start to the day than rushing around chasing your tail….
Writing EVERYTHING in your diary, and getting into the habit of checking it the night before is key to running a less stressed life.
Having everything in one place is less stressful – and it can be a pleasure to live in your life when it runs so smoothly.
There’s also nothing more satisfying than being able to tick things off during the day as you get through it!
TIP – Write it all down and tick or highlight it when it’s done to give you motivation and a sense of progress each day
So – next time you’re fighting why you need to plan, remember that it can help in so many ways:-
- Keeping you on track and focused
- Removing arguments and creating a more balanced life
- Making everything you do more manageable
- Eliminating potential issues before they arise
You will become less stressed as a result of planning, so why not embrace it!