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The Best Laid Plans Are Flexible

The Best Laid Plans Are Flexible

Photo by apesara,

As you know, last Friday I posted what I realized was an aggressive list for Finish it Friday. Since the weekend is when I have my biggest block of “do-stuff-around-the-house” time, I love the idea of starting the weekend with a to-do list—a.k.a. my Finish It Friday list. My list helps me stay focused during the weekend, which means more things get done than if I didn’t have a list or a plan.

Now, from working with clients and online workshop participants, I know there are those of you out there who avoid planning because you feel like if you make a plan you have to follow it. The thinking goes something along the lines of this: If I make a list for the weekend and don’t check everything off the list then I feel like I’ve failed.

Ouch! That is pretty high stakes stuff. Do it all or you’ve failed. I can see why you’d resist creating a plan if success or failure was that black and white!

My approach to planning is a bit more flexible. See, I didn’t finish my entire list this weekend, but I did get an awful lot done. I don’t think I failed at all. What do you think? Here’s what I checked off my list:

  • List three items on Craig’s list. Partial check. One item was listed, the other two are closer to being listed, but not quite done.
  • Straighten up the basement back room.Check – and well worth the effort. Yay!
  • (Start) and finish cleaning the house! Check!
  • Transfer photos to jump drive for my family in Michigan. Check!
  • Order samples for master bedroom window blinds. Check!
  • Paint a picture frame. Check!
  • Finish up my projects for Get Organized for the Holidays. Nope…but hey, that’s what today’s for, right?

    So…did I fail? Well, first let’s explore why those other things didn’t get done. In a nutshell, I got a better offer (or made a better plan.) Yesterday, we decided to take advantage of the beautiful October afternoon and go on family outing to the pumpkin farm. We left the house at noon for some much needed clothes shopping for the kids, and then headed to the pumpkin farm. We returned home at about 8:30 PM after dinner at Jay’s parents. Long story short—there wasn’t much time to get things done yesterday! And that was fine by me. Because I made my plan on Friday, I got a lot of stuff done on Saturday. Even though all I did was post one thing on Craig’s list and put a second coat on that picture frame — I wasn’t at all taunted by my to-do list yesterday. I knew the world wasn’t going to come to a screeching halt if my other two items weren’t listed, and I knew that I could finish up the holiday class projects today. So…it was all good.

    Next: Stay Flexible! →

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