I have a confession to make.
I am a self declared over planner.
I will not be attending any Planners Anonymous meetings. Nor will I try to change my behavior or apologize for it. I was just never cut out to be a spontaneous person.
I am much happier with my Google calendar, color coded tabs, Excel spreadsheets, Mint financial tracker, daily to do lists, Inspiration boards, and Pinterest full of ideas. I like to know what time events will begin and end. I like knowing what’s on my agenda for the next day. I don’t mind lazy days every now and then, but the truth is that I’m much happier on days when I make measurable progress towards whatever I’m working on.
My over planning talents are most exhibited in 3 main areas this season:
- My graduate school applications: for which I have an organized file on Google Drive with all of the necessary copies of my passport, copies of my diploma and transcript, essays, and letters of recommendation. Also for which I write out weekly to do lists and tape them to the wall over my sink where I am always reminded of my goals for that week.
- My finances: more than one friend has expressed fascination by my obsession with writing down every single expense, even if it is only $2. I keep all of these expenses on an Excel spreadsheet which I use as my budget. I have direct deposits set up into savings accounts, which are separate and labeled by goal.. I.e. “Movings costs summer 2017” and “Emergencies Only”. Since teachers don’t make a lot of money, I am particularly on top of my money management now more than ever!
- My travel plans: these also go into Excel sheets with dates, times, budgets, types of transport, accommodations, museum opening hours, tour information, and further reading about each destination. What many people pay a tour company or tour guide to do for them, I do in my free time. I know which websites to check for flights, how to locate regional train and bus schedules, how to find local blogs, which travel websites have the best advice, and more. All of this knowledge gets accumulated and synthesized pre-trip so during the trip I can relax and have a good time.
I enjoy planning so much because it helps me to feel prepared and when I feel prepared I am more likely to relax, stress less, and enjoy myself more. Knowing where I want to go, how I’m going to get there, and what stops will happen along the way is super helpful in every area of my life. I think it is most helpful to think of my plans like an outline, not a finished novel. I can edit and rearrange my plans, but they are always serving to guide me towards the final destination or goal.
If you feel like you aren’t sure how to get from where you are to where you want to be, making a plan can help to break out of your rut. I find that plans give my hopes, dreams, and goals more traction which helps me to continue to push forward.
Hopefully I’ve managed to convince you why planning is so great! And why you should drop what you are doing, go to Office Depot right now and buy yourself some color coded tabs and folders! Go, go, go!
And add an important event to your Google calendar right now: My personalized travel planning service will be launching January 1, 2017! A new year, a new venture, and I am finally stepping up to the big league. I want to start planning with the big guns, so watch out, exciting things will happen… More on this business later. For now, here’s a quick summary of the trips I have to look forward to in 2017:
January 1-7 = Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
January 13-16 = Nis, Serbia
January 29-February 2 = Bratislava and Tepliske Teplice, Slovakia
February 6-9 = Krompachy, Slovakia
February 10-11= High Tatras, Slovakia
February 19-20 = Visegrad and Budapest, Hungary
February 25-28 = Amsterdam, the Netherlands
March 1-6 = Nazareth, Jerusalem & Tel Aviv, Israel
March 17-19 = Bratislava, Slovakia
April 4-5 = Bratislava, Slovakia
April 13-18 = Porto, Portugal
May 12 – 15 = Vienna, Austria
May 20 – 28 = Annapolis, Maryland
July 12 – 16 = Porto, Portugal
July 19 – August 2 = Phoenix, Arizona and New Orleans, Louisiana
October 5-9 = Phoenix, AZ
In 2017, my obsessive over planning will continue. And I will even begin to offer my travel planning services for hire. Because I think we should all do work that highlights our strengths and talents and which we truly enjoy…
More details on this coming very soon!