How Planning Right Contributes To Your Wellbeing


So, we’re coming up to that time of the year where we’re reviewing how we’ve done over the past year and are looking forward to the next. As I sit here, I’m reminded of the many things I didn’t quite get to (or started but didn’t finish), and I feel a sense of “anxiety” as I think through the potential implications of not getting these activities finished. I’m reminded of the importance of planning and the benefits it brings – including to our mental wellness.

Not only does planning itself benefit how much we get done and what we achieve as a result – but there’s a level of reflection to planning that positively impacts our mental wellness. It represents a conscious effort to be mindful of the people and things that matter. Many of us are coming up for air from the past three years of disruption, and during that time, many of our goals (both personal and professional) have shifted. Many of us have recognised during that time that a more balanced life (and outlook on life) is possible and able to be managed in line with professional goal attainment. There’s one thing to recognise this – it’s another to achieve it!

Planning allows us to ensure we are “ahead of the game” – working toward our goals and ensuring that the foreseeable is managed in a way that we have the flexibility to deal with the unforeseeable – both threats to our goal attainment as well as opportunities. It also allows us to schedule time for those activities we have come to enjoy as a result of a more flexible way of working – for example, being available to take our children/grandchildren to school on occasions and attending those school functions that we wouldn’t have been able to attend before due to more inflexible ways of working; fitting in an appointment during the day that we would have previously been unable to due to not being around; a regular “self-care” class at a time that previously would not suit because we travelled into the city for work every day. These activities are only a few of those that will undoubtedly help to achieve greater wellbeing.

But they need to be scheduled into our calendar to make sure they happen!! 

One way of doing this is blocking your calendar with these regular “well-being activities” as your plan your year ahead. Make appointments with yourself to ensure they happen – you wouldn’t let a client down, would you? Treat yourself as a client of yourself.

Think of these 5 ways that planning will impact your wellbeing: 

Life Balance. You’ll spend less time performing routine tasks that planning would certainly prevent. You’ll free up time when you block time for all those routine tasks such as calendar management and other routine administration. Blocking time for similar types of activities generally assists in time management as you’re in the same “thinking patterns” for that time.

Limit Uncertainty. When we’re feeling uncertain about something, it leads to procrastination. This is often due to a lack of forethought or planning about what needs to be done and how – so when we sit to get something done, we’re thinking (or overthinking) the “how” …. We’re often, at these times, not present in that work. When there’s a plan, amending it is far less stressful than if there was no plan at all.

Stay Focused. Planning provides clarity which promotes what we need to be successful in both our personal and professional lives. When you plan first, you understand your goals, your purpose, and the activities that lead to results. We are far more likely to achieve our goals as a result of that focus and the resulting intentional activity.

Consistency. Have a consistent routine for getting things done – that meets your work patterns. For example, if you write well first thing in the morning, set that as your daily/weekly morning task. Do not get distracted by emails or other things first up – that is your first task for the day. Arrange those activities that don’t require creativity / strategic thinking (or more mindless tasks) for those times of the day when you have an energy slump. But the main thing is, to have a routine and stick to it. Have a work start and finish time and regular breaks throughout the day. Schedule the activities that work best for you and your clients. If you have regular client consultations, for example, schedule those all over 2 – 3 days per week, so you get clear time outside of those days to get other work done. You will see results because you’re consistent in your approach and in getting things done. Planning fosters this consistency. Without planning, your consistent approach is destined to fail.

Peace of mind. Planning gives you the peace of mind that you’re placing value on the work you’re doing – which positively impacts your mental wellbeing. Being prepared limits stress, and anxiety and prevents last-minute rush because you forgot about your deadline and had to pull an all-nighter. That peace of mind also makes you clearer. The cobwebs cluttering your mind will be a memory. You’ll find that you’ll be more creative, and inspired and have an increased capacity to execute your ideas.

Planning itself doesn’t fix all this – but it’s an important start. Having a plan, with realistic review milestones along the way, is critical to getting things finished – which is a huge benefit for not only goal attainment but also in recognising our own value – which ultimately positively impacts our wellbeing.

What do you think? Want some ideas on how to create a plan that will help your business over the coming year?

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