Why Planning Your Time is Worth Your Time

Here’s a weird little secret of mine.

I LOVE opening up a brand new calendar.

Because nothing gets me going like a new planner with all those clean empty pages just waiting to be filled with my intentions and all the new ideas I can’t wait to try.

Can you relate?

In the past, I’ve written about the detailed process I use to map out a plan for each year. What I haven’t talked about so much is the why of planning; why this matters for you and the success of your business.

Let’s talk about that.

I have a really close friend who despises calendars. Just the thought of filling out (and following) a planner makes her feel hemmed in, trapped – like there is no flexibility in her day.

No room to breathe.

Maybe you can relate to that even more.

In my friend’s case, that stems from a time in her first career when she had to bill for services in six minute increments.  (Geez – no wonder she hates calendars!)

Today, she runs her own business on a schedule she sets. And she’s learning that rather than limit her flexibility, calendars help create an easier, more productive life.

And I’m not surprised. Taking time to plan out the year, the quarter, even the day – can make a huge difference in your business too. 

Here are five reasons why.

1. You plan to succeed.

You’ve heard it before. “Plan your work and work your plan.” There really is something to that. Deadlines, events, meetings, and calls you plan for are those you will be prepared for.

2. You can measure results.

Let’s say, for example, your goal is more clients. So you set a plan to give a talk each month to a target audience of potential clients.

You use your calendar to plan for prep time, the event itself and follow up work. Once a quarter, you measure the number of new clients your talks are bringing in and how much time it really takes to do them.

From there, you can decide whether it makes sense to continue that plan.

3. You’ll get clear on priorities.

Careful planning forces you to get clear about your goals. What do you really want to accomplish this year? What key initiatives or projects will move your business forward? And what steps are needed to get you there?

Get those on the calendar. Then, when adding tasks or events along the way, ask yourself: will this move me toward my next goal? If not – say no!

When your goals are clear, your plan will follow, and your calendar will protect that plan.

4. You’ll have flexibility.

Believe it or not, planning actually gives you flexibility in your schedule. How? Because doing the work of planning – writing down those deadlines and meetings – also defines open blocks of time. And when you need to change something, your options will be clear.

Even if you write deadlines in ink, they aren’t in stone. :) Everything is open to revision, negotiation, and compromise. Knowing what’s expected – and when – allows you to consider new opportunities with confidence.

5. You can lead a complete life.

Depending on your business, you may need one calendar for work and another for home, family, etc. But I encourage you to use a system where you can have everything in one place if possible.

Having one system, where all your commitments are visible, leads to less stress and a more unified life.

It can also help you track when you’re working too much – and not playing enough. :)

I just got back from an intensive retreat with my business coach where we did a deep dive into the goals and plans I need to focus on for next year. With that creative work done, guess what I’m doing next?

That’s right. I’m pulling out my planner and mapping out the plan.

I know that “putting things on a calendar” sounds easy. But if that’s really all you’re doing, you’re not actually planning.

Be intentional about this activity.

Think about your key goals, the tasks involved, how long they’ll actually take. Take some time to figure this out.

And then grab a new, beautiful blank calendar and start giving your dreams a date.


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