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I never mentioned my day job did I? The reason I keep this blog is so I can read it when I am too old and amnesiac, or if I somehow lose my memory. I must be really brave to tell you that there’s another reason I curate my useless stories – perhaps they will find it someday? Archaeologists from five hundred centuries later? Perhaps they will rebuild the Internet of the 20th century and all that survives the decay could be my blog because it is so hideous, even the virtual nature wouldn’t consume it. Anyway, so if any of those happen, I should be amused to know that I am a Marketing Communications professional by day.
I work for this beautiful organization that helps massive companies plan their operations and helps them save millions of dollars – what those companies do with that money, I don’t care but from my association with this organization, I have pondered much over ‘planning.’ So today when my boss asked me and my colleagues what planning means to us, I shared my thoughts gladly.
The word ‘plan’ or the act of planning was never a bigger part of my everyday life as it is now, thanks to my association with Steelwedge – and its passionate planning culture. I wasn’t a big planner, or maybe I didn’t realize how much of a planner I was until I started looking at my planning behavior.
Every task, every adventure, everything really comes with two questions – do I plan for this or do I take it as it comes? I love adventure, surprises and try and find my silver lining out of every experience that either doesn’t go according to the plan or is something I didn’t plan for. I must admit that I believe not planning has its own charm and planning its own great wisdom – I try and choose between the two on almost every occasion.
Most times, planning makes great sense. It’s not so much fun paying 180 GBP for a ticket that you’d pay only 30 GBP for when you know you are traveling to Edinburgh from London on a certain date. In many cases, the benefits of planning are profound – planning ahead has saved me from potential danger, from disappointments, awkward surprises, overspending, and more. Planning is a great experience when it involves research, then it becomes pleasurable – if not the process, at least the idea that I wouldn’t be faced with a difficult situation is assuring.
I also realize that even when I think I will not have a plan and let adventure and surprise present its best to me, there’s always some level of planning involved – there’s a plan B to adventure because I WANT TO BE SAFE. Adventure is great, but safety is primary.
Upon great pondering, I realize there’re not many things that I do without some planning behind it.
The image is an illustration of my thoughts around planning, inspired by this post, Didi.
Much of my planning is in my head – though I keep half a dozen journals, at least two ‘Things to Remember’ notepads, have synced all my devices to Evernote – much of it mostly is in my head. I realize this isn’t a great habit – I would like to change it and be a better planner – use all these planners I buy!
When something is too big for my head to keep it safe there, it spills out to sticky notes. My shopping list every month inevitably has ‘sticky notes’ on it – they are my planning tool. And stickies, to remember things.
Most of my planning is like writing an essay as a high-school student would (or I did in high school).
(between Para2 and Para 3 or part two and part three of doing the task is the procrastination area where a task begins to lose momentum. That’s when the final part becomes most important, even if I have accomplished only 20% by part two, part three is when the task should be completed, even if it is 80%, even if it takes endless cups of coffee)
The most important part of planning for me is ‘Sections’
I divide almost everything in sections, whether it is having a slice of pizza or cleaning my room, or reading a book, just about anything is divided into sections in my head.
As a teenager, I liked to believe planning is terribly uncool, especially when grown-ups said ‘Plan Your Life.’ I still wouldn’t brag too much about my planning, but I realize it with experience that the results of planning have always been much greater and more pleasurable than the results of going with the flow, without a plan. If someone asked me for advice, I’d say, don’t underestimate planning. I might even go a step further and say ‘Planning is Cool.’ To answer your question in a single word, planning to me means ‘Safety.’