What’s the point of planning, when things don’t go as planned? 

Have you ever wondered that? I know that I have. As someone who likes to be organized and in control, I used to think that if I couldn’t carry out my plan exactly as I put it together, then the plan had no value.

As I’ve gotten older and wiser and more laid back, I know now that things rarely go exactly as planned. But when you have a plan, you can step back and reevaluate your next move based on a structured framework (your original plan.) So even when things don’t go as planned, your plan still has tremendous value.

Not planning because things may not go as planned is like not using a GPS on a road trip because you might make a wrong turn. Just as a GPS tells you where to turn next so you can get back to on track…your plan does the same thing.

Now you may be wondering why I’m sharing all of this…and it’s because my weekend didn’t go as planned. On Friday night we found ourselves hunkered down in the basement waiting out a big storm. We lost power (this definitely wasn’t in the original plans) and we lost a big tree. Cleaning up the big tree was also not in the original plans. In the scheme of things, no big deal at all. Being without power for less than a day and losing one tree (without any damage to people or property) are just inconveniences. We feel very grateful that it wasn’t worse.

But here’s the thing, since I made a plan on Friday, I was able to easily re-prioritize my weekend. I knew exactly what wasn’t going to get done as I tended to the now more urgent and important matters – finding hot coffee on Saturday morning and helping Jay with the tree on Sunday afternoon. The result was that the mission critical things on my to-do list like grocery shopping and laundry got done, while things with no real deadline (painting the front porch chair and editing photos) didn’t get done. Best of all – no stress. Because I had a plan, I knew I was attending to the most important stuff on my to-do list.

If you’ve ever resisted making a plan or writing down your to-do list out of fear that things wouldn’t go as planned, I’d like to invite you to reconsider. The point of planning isn’t to execute the plan perfectly; it’s to provide yourself with a road map that makes it possible to make the best choices, whether things go as planned or not.

Alright…onto my Monday morning update: here’s my update for today:

Fun

  • Run. Check!
  • Boot camp. No check.
  • Dinner out with Jay and the kids. Check, postponed from Friday to Saturday. Way more enjoyable without tornadoes brewing in the area.

Done

  • Go to the bank. Check!
  • Run some other errands. Check, check, check!
  • Thank you notes. No check.
  • Mail in camp forms. Check!
  • Fill out cross country forms. (What is it with all the forms to fill out this time of year?) No check!
  • Hamster training. Check!
  • Project Life photo editing and printing. No check!
  • Make hair cut appointment for Collin. Left a message on Friday afternoon.
  • Paint front porch chair. No check!
  • Laundry. Check! (Almost done.)
  • Meal plan. Check!
  • Grocery shop. Check!

I hope you had a great weekend and that you didn’t have any unexpected or unwelcome weather events.

Have a terrific week!
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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and organizing eBooks.

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