And still do things spontaneously!
Despite the fact that I’ve been an Events and Wedding planner for more than 10 years, ironically, I never really planned my day or week ahead. I would just work my way around appointments and do the task that were the most urgent. Leading to very long working days and lots, lots of stressful moments and not finding time for my personal life.
I figured that it is just what you do, you work hard, long and your soul focus is on your business and career. Successful I was! But, there was also an other side of the coin… I wasn’t taking care of myself; I didn’t have time to meet up with friends and family and was just always busy. The kind of busy that by the end of the day you ask yourself what you actually have done. I’m sure that you know exactly what I’m saying!
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED my job, but it came with a price. Never finding the time to do the things you love to do has its toll in the long run.
When we moved to South Africa, I was determined to do it differently. I really wanted to have time to do the things I wanted to do and especially those things that would benefit my body, mind and soul! I had to make a plan 😉
I got inspired by “The Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand in a Jar Story”
A philosophy professor once stood up before his class with a large empty jar. He filled the jar to the top with large rocks and asked his students if the jar was full. Everyone in the class agreed that the jar was indeed full.
He then added some gravel to the jar and gave the jar a bit of a shake so the pieces of gravel could disperse themselves among the larger rocks. Then he asked again, “Is the jar full now?” By this time, the class was onto him. “Probably not” one of them answered.
The professor then poured sand into the jar to fill up any remaining empty space. The students then agreed that the jar was completely full.
The professor wanted to illustrate the students that if you don’t focus on big rocks first, you’ll never get them in at all! That was exactly what I had been doing for the past years.
I was filling my jar the wrong way. No wonder I was never finding time for the things that nurtured my body, mind and soul and gave me the energy to tackle those “have to’s”!
That’s when my planning journey started. In order to find that balance, I had to find a way that would enable me to achieve my bigger purpose in life, whatever that means to you.
Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it.Buddha
It was time to stop wasting all of my time on the small and insignificant things and planning was the key. It was time to start thinking ahead.
I know that a lot of people are scared that when they plan too much, they lose their spontaneity. But let’s face it. When was the last time you reached a goal by being spontaneous?
The chances are greater that you didn’t go for that run because you didn’t plan ahead. Thinking about going for a run on Wednesday is different than actually writing it down in your planner at what time you are going for a run! Trust me, I’ve been there.
Planning ahead has proven to have more benefits than I originally thought. Thinking about tomorrow or even the whole week has given me, believe it or not, sooo much more time to do the things I love and want to do.
What planning has brought me…
I’m more relaxed and actively planning has led to a more fulfilling and intentional way of living.
The days that I was stressing about getting a project finished are part of the past. I’ve got a better control over my schedule and instead of working late into the night, I get things done ahead of time. I found that the story I was telling myself, since high school, that I could work a lot better under pressure was just a lie. If you believe that as well, you want to think about it because it just isn’t true.
Planning motivates and helps me achieve more goals.
I can’t remember how often I started the week with I’m going to eat healthier and exercise more. And yes, my intentions usually lasted until Monday afternoon, evening at its best. And going for that run? I’ll do it tomorrow…
Using a planner actually helps me achieve more short- and long-term goals, both professionally and personally.
There is no denying, it just feels good!
I’ve become more productive and planning has saved me a lot of time
Since I learned to prioritize, make a plan and more importantly stick to that plan, I’ve become much more productive. While writing this blog post, I’m only focusing on writing this post and I’ve turned off all possible distractions. What easily could take me a half a day is now finished in a couple of hours. Leaving me plenty of time to do the things I love to do!
It helps me to develop mindfulness
Finding time for self-care, to unplug or to slow down was just never part of my vocabulary. Even if it was just for 10-20 minutes a day. I never realized that this however was an important factor to keep going. That it actually would help me to stay focused and energized.
It will probably come to no surprise that this is now exactly what I start my day with. Planning my morning routine is one of my top-priorities, it’s one of my big rocks.
Sounds like something you could use as well? Read all about my morning routine here.
It just makes me happier and healthier
Thanks to incorporating planning into my life I’ve become healthier and happier! I finally managed to lose almost 10kg, I exercise daily and eat a lot healthier. There is no more: “I’ll start tomorrow!” because I plan ahead and around that what is important to me.
To cut a long story short, planning just fits my life and lifestyle and I only wished that I would have implemented this a lot sooner! I’ll never have to use the excuse – the dog ate my homework – again 😉
That’s the reason why in the course Rewild Your Senses, I dedicate a whole week on “How to PLAN and structure your day?”. Because, whether you like it or not, planning ahead just plays a big factor in finding that balance in your life!
P.P.S. Did you know that as a Member of the Mindful Meander Tribe you have access to the hands on workshop “Let’s make a PLAN” or the Flemish version “Ons maak een PLAN”?