Planning the Plan

“If only glaring at that weighing machine helped me lose pounds”, used to be a running joke in my school friends circle. Some things don’t change. Now, its a health app instead.

But really, do health apps make us fit, money mgt apps make us rich or mindfulness apps heal our mental state? What do we expect when we entrust these apps with our valuable resources-health, wealth, time and peace of mind? To keep a tab and report back or magically create results.

Ubellah Maria‘s brilliant post (Link in comments) discusses this- Do productivity apps make you productive? I wish! After relying for long on their notifying skills, the one thing I started doing differently has been my biggest productivity tip to date- “Taking the time to plan before planning to take the time”

Sure the calendar helps – to block time and set reminders. But start with the canvas of ideas, dreams and aspirations. Transfer it from your mind to the physical realm. Maybe digital, maybe classic pen and paper. Again, not everything on the canvas needs to get into the calendar. When an idea is planned for, it has a price tag- a time tag. When its time has come, slot it on the calendar.

Repeat the exercise. Everyday, not just on New Year’s eve. Why? Because plans can change. During the course of time, plans can get reprioritized. Especially when it involves other dependencies and thats ok. Plans do entertain visiting hours; revisit and revise.

Some days my brain tells me “I got this, lets not waste 10 minutes on the planner”. Those days have not been my best. The first thing to plan for is the plan itself. After having heard years of gyan around motivation, discipline, tools and systems, I realize that what we really need motivattion and discipline for is to carve out the time to plan. That’s the first system to build. The rest will follow.

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