3 (and a half) Pros of Planning Ahead
Sometimes when we're busy, we have a hard time justifying taking time to stop and slow down. We think we don't have time to plan things out, we just need to do them. We think we don't have time to reflect on where we are and if we're still on track with our current plan, or if we've veered off track.
We need this time, though, and here are three (and a bonus) reasons why…
1) Minimize uncertainty and maximize control
Most of us aren't fans of uncertainty and risk, and that's ok. You might also say that some of us aren't fans of planning, either--so ask yourself: what's scarier? Winging it and hoping for the best, or sitting down and mapping out a plan or strategy beforehand? That map/outline/drawing on a napkin will give you a sense of control over what's ahead simply because you have a guide to follow into the future. For example, football players don't just march onto the field willy-nilly and hope for the best; they have a series of strategic plays that they've studied (probably until their eyes crossed a little) so they know what's ahead and how to respond. That's why it's called a gameplan. They're pretty handy.
2) Don't you want to know where you're going?
Planning ahead forces you to reflect on where you are now and visualize your ideal outcome. You can't get anywhere if you don't know where you are now, but there's no point in starting a journey if you're not sure where you're going. Chances are you'll get somewhere alright, you just might find out too late that "Somewhere" is either Lost or Not Where You Want to Be.
3) Increase your likelihood of success
You know the saying: "Those who fail to plan plan to fail." (Thanks, Mr. Churchill.) Being proactive about reaching your goals spells success more than anything. It shows that you've taken the time to really think about where you're headed, and that increased sense of control that we mentioned doesn't hurt either.
BONUS: Less Stress (and who doesn't like the sound of that?)
Planning ahead inherently means less scrambling and fewer last-minute freakouts. Psychologist Robert Epstein remarks, "fighting stress before it starts, planning things rather than letting them happen" is the optimum way to minimize stress. In other words, "planning your day, your year, and your life" will decrease stress and give you more opportunities to relax and reap the fruits of your plans! So take a look at the rest of this year and think about what you want to accomplish before it's over. Then, more importantly, plan for how you're going to do it.
What about you? What good comes to you when you plan? Let us know in the comments or on social media!