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Plans. Always. Change.

Plans. Always. Change.

Plans always change… you can count on it & you should plan for it. What was that quote?… oh, yeah:

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” – Robert Burns from “To A Mouse” & used in the title of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”

And as an assistant, or future assistant, you would be wise to remember that quote when making plans… meeting plans, travel plans, office plans… you get the point.

If you start from the point of view that whatever you’re in the process of planning has a high probability of changing, you can organize those plans in a fashion that makes them easy to change.

Whether it’s buying a refundable plane ticket instead of non-refundable, ordering food for two or three more people than are scheduled to be in the meeting, reserving a conference room when your boss says that their office is fine but you have a feelin’ they’re going to add more people to the meeting… all of these things are setting yourself up to add, subtract or delete as needed. You’re ready for those plans to change so bring it on!

On the flip side of that coin, sometimes plans change and there is nothing humanly possible that you could have done to expect the change or have prepared for it ahead of time. Weather delay which strands your boss in a city with no hotel rooms available; car breaks down; god forbid, a death in the family… each of these situations present changes that you don’t have any control over. And in these uncontrollable instances, if you’ve organized effectively, you’ll be able to have all of the information you need at your fingertips to alternate to a brand new plan “B” in the blink of an eye.

The take away? Think of how the plans that you are making can change, prepare for those potential changes AND be as organized as possible so when a change occurs that you could have never foreseen, all the information you need to implement an effective plan “B” is at your fingertips.

Last point: Accept the fact that plans change and don’t let changing plans get you down (especially when you put in a lot of work to make those plans perfect); such is part of your job as an assistant.

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