When You Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail by Courtney Sharp

As my previous blog entries reflect, I am a planner at heart (a fact that is only strengthened through my employment here with Larry Rice). While law school and work give me plenty of opportunities to perfect my organizational skills, I am quickly learning how essential planning is to virtually every part of my life.

I am a strong believe that a planner (or a personal assistant if you can afford one), is key to maximizing productivity and minimizing unnecessary stress in one fell swoop. Planners are where the ‘to dos’ that seem overwhelming, go to find their time slots and be put to rest.

By planning, tasks become MANAGEABLE: You can see all your goals, both long term and short term, in one place. You can feel the satisfaction of crossing an assignment off your list, which is sure to motivate you to keep moving to the next. When you organize all the errands in your head neatly on a piece of paper, they become manageable, and you can conquer them instead of worrying about them.

By planning, you better utilize your ENERGY: When we learn how to manage our errand/assignment/tasks, it frees up energy that we can use on something that would actually be productive to ourselves. It is so easy to get caught up with worrying about how we are going to accomplish our ‘to do’ list, that at times we can spend more time stressing out about our workload than we would actually accomplishing it. Not to say we should rush through any given task so we can spend our energy doing what we want, but we should be encouraged that we would have much more time and energy if we planned ahead on the front end.

By planning, you tell your time where to go, instead of wondering where it went: Everyone knows how quickly time slips by. We can have the best intentions, but if we fail to plan, we can almost count on ‘something coming up’ or just simply forgetting. I am an advocate of planning out my time both for school, work, and my life in general. I often look at my calendar and put my time in at the beginning of the week, that way I know exactly how I will spend my time, instead of wondering at the end of the week “Where did my time go?” My generation, especially, seems fond of the idea of “spontaneity.” If I have learned anything in my mid-age, though, it’s that if you sit around and wait for something to be “spontaneous,” you will be sitting around for a long time. You have to MAKE something happen if it is a priority. If you want to make something happen, plan it ahead of time. If going to dinner with a friend is a priority, I plan it. If calling my grandmother is a priority, I put it on the calendar. If treating myself to Sonic is a priority, you bet it’s on the calendar. This holds me accountable, ensures that I have time for it, and lets me know that it will get done.

I am convinced that when you better manage your time, it sets off a series of dominoes. When you plan ahead, you have less to worry about, when you have less to worry about, you tend to be happier. When you tend to be happier, you enjoy being around your loved ones more (and they certainly enjoy being around you more). From my perspective, few things can go wrong with being a planner, and planning your priorities ahead of time. I am thankful that I get to hone my planning and time management skills in the hectic area of Divorce law. I am more thankful that I have Larry Rice and his team to look up to for help in this area because they seem to have gotten this “being organized, planning ahead, juggling work while being happy people” thing down pat.