michael caine, italian job, planning, blackboard

We love planning… until we hate it

Planning is the fabric of our lives. With the odd exception, it is what separates us from the vortex of free-fall chaos. A really vigorous planning session can go some way to making us feel secure, in control and, frankly, sexy. It’s that good.

When life threatens to overwhelm, breaking it down into digestible chunks can allow us to process what is required of us without dissolving into freak-out. Because petrification allows for build-up. And build-up feeds dread. Remember how leaving your homework until Sunday night allowed it to slightly contaminate your whole weekend? That. Good planning disempowers the dread.

But, as with everything, moderation. A little bit of what you fancy. Good planning becomes bad planning when we get addicted to it and wield it as a weapon with which to conquer our lives. When we plan things we will never take any pleasure in or nutrition from, just because we are planners. Who plan. When we take every possible task and, instead of filtering them and deciding when to say a simple no, we factor them in.

Clearly not everything can be peaches and cream. But just because we have learnt to plan, doesn’t mean we should deprive ourselves of room to breathe. And grow. And flop about. And get bored. And wander and wonder. The spaces in between the planning are where the ideas happen.

Sometimes even chaos is better than mental suffocation. Because we are not the same people we were yesterday and we need to work with those shifting sands. And though under-planning makes us dread stuff, over-planning can make us dread life.

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