Carefully laid plans have a way of tripping us up. That’s because we aren’t the same people when we make the plans, and when we take the action. If I decide today what I will do next Tuesday at 10am, I am using Today Me to make the plans. But often Tomorrow Me has a different idea of what’s the best use of my time. So I like to make plans for tomorrow, but always live only in today.
Here is how.
If you have a hankering to plan out your next week, do it. Write it all out. Color code it. Doodle it up. Then put that document away and work in the day you are in, without regard for the plan.
What this does is help you work with your energy, rather than against it. Some people call this going with the flow. I call it being smart with my resources.
My energy ebbs and flows all day long. When energy is high, I get a lot done. I have fun. I feel good. When my energy is low, no amount of effort will ever produce what I can do when my energy is high. So, I opt to follow my energy and work when my energy is pulling me along.
Which is why I like to plan out my week, and then trash the plan. The process of planning stimulates my mind. Gets me thinking about my goals. Helps me to focus on my priorities. But when it comes to actual work, I follow my energy.
Here is why I think this works.The weekly plan helps me get all my wants out of my head and onto the page. It also helps me identify my obstacles and limiting beliefs, so I can clear them out. Last, it seems to calm my mind to see the week all planned out. Then, I put it away, and work intuitively.
Of course I have commitments, appointments, and scheduled items to tend to. But if I have any free pocket of time, I ask myself what feels like the next action I want to focus on. Even if its not on my schedule. I do that and then ask myself the question again.
In this way, I add to my day activities I feel ready to tackle, which buoys me for meetings, appointments, or must-dos. In fact, the more I work with my energy when I can, the easier I tackle my task list. (In case you weren’t aware, a task list is a list of items we don’t want to do. Otherwise, we’d call it fun list.)
When I feed my energy by doing what feels like the next logical step to me, it’s like I have excess energy to tackle my task list.
Where could you let your energy lead? Where could you add in activities that increase your energy? Where can you re-see your task list as a tool, and not your master?