Lifestyle · Minimalism

Mindful Planning: When planning gets in the way of doing.

Screen Shot 2017-05-24 at 7.07.55 PMI have a confession to make. I love planning.

I love getting brand new planners, I love getting brand new planners, making little check marks on my To-Do lists, and looking ahead to see what’s coming next.

Perhaps it’s because I like to pretend like I have control over the future. It gives me a sense of order in the universe.

Even though planning, in my opinion, is one of the ultimate ways to success, I can definitely see how it stands in my way. I usually spend more time planning on doing things as opposed to actually doing things.

I need to start Mindful Planning. This is a term that, as far as I know, I’ve recently come up with. I thought it up when (surprise, surprise), going through my planner. I felt like I was mapping out all of these things I wanted to accomplish, but I didn’t actually feel like I was going to get any of it done. There was just too much. I also felt like none of it was actually important. I was just planning for the sake of planning. The whole situation was a combination of me finding things to do so I would look/feel productive, and doing things that I felt like I “should” be doing in order to live some sort of happy or healthy lifestyle.

Instead of just mindlessly planning things because I think they sound good, I need to mindfully plan things that I know are good. I don’t have to write in a gratitude journal, meditate, read, drink tea, stare out the window, go on a nature walk, scrub the toilet, pluck my eyebrows, paint my nails, and do a full yoga practice before 6 am. While all of those things are good, (well, maybe not plucking eyebrows) I don’t have to stuff them all in. I should just find the things that work for me and schedule those in–and even then, I don’t have to do them every day. Perhaps just picking one or two of these morning (or afternoon, or evening, or whatever) rituals would be preferable than a whole bunch of things just because then I could actually enjoy them instead of constantly worrying about the next relaxing or productive thing I had to do.

I think what I’m getting at here is (with all my rambling), is that while planning is awesome, we shouldn’t feel like we have to shove as much as we can into our planner. We can just enjoy ourselves in the moment with our own routines or planned events. We don’t have to feel like we have to get all these things done to be successful or happy. Sometimes, we can just do a few things, and enjoy them for what they are.

What does Mindful Planning mean to you? How do you plan your days? Comment below and thank you for sharing your energy with me today.

Namaste.

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9 thoughts on “Mindful Planning: When planning gets in the way of doing.

  1. I’m definitely addicted to planning and I agree that it can get in the way of my actual productivity.

    One thing that works for me: I don’t call my list “things to do” or “daily goals” anymore. Instead, I refer to them as “intentions” – things I intend to get around to that day/week/month. That way, if I miss a couple things, I don’t beat myself up.

    I definitely put some easy tasks on my list too. I find that, dealing with Depression, it helps to give myself some free items. Checking things off a list makes me feel like I’m not utterly failing that day. It works for me, but I can see how it wouldn’t work for other people. I definitely rely on lists more than I maybe should – but like I said, it’s one of the few things that keeps me sane.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. for some time, i started my day by setting three intentions and it did help me a lot to direct my actions to my goals. i’ve got to get back to that habit, as it feels much more enjoyable and natural than a to-do list. i’ll check adriene! thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. i’ve realized that, the more stuff i pt on my to-do list, the more i procrastinate! now, i even avoid looking at it so i don’t feel like such a failure.

    but you’re right, looking at a broader perspective, what’s on my to do list is things i think i should do, instead of the ones i know it will bring me joy. thanks for the help! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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