Planning Backwards

Planning Backwards

I know that I feel less than perfect when I forget something or I’m late.  Now that I’m on this journey to overcome perfection I know I don’t have to be perfect but it feels nice when everything falls into place.  In order for that you happen you have to plan. What has worked well for me is planning backwards. These are the steps I take to make sure that I can execute my plan and be prepared for any event (well most of the time).

Schedule the event in your calendar with reminders

Whether you use a paper planner or an electronic one you need to make sure that you put the event into your calendar. If I don’t do this right away I forget. Then set reminders ( if you have an electronic calendar if not then remember to look in advance at what is coming up). I like to think about when I need to really start getting ready for an event. If it’s a birthday party for one of my kids I might need a reminder 2 months before the party. If it’s a concert or play date maybe just a week or 2 day reminder. Set the reminder for when you have to start preparing.

Plan when you need to be ready

If you the event is at 2pm but it takes half an hour to drive there and maybe another half an hour to get dressed and ready then the event is really starting at 1pm because of all the prep you have to do. Make sure you prepare for this and don’t schedule something for 1pm when you know you should be getting ready for the other event. I like to block off the driving time and prep time in my calendar for the event too. That way I know not to put anything in for that time otherwise I will be late and feel horrible.

Plan for anything you need to do for the event

If it’s your child’s birthday party then maybe you need to buy decorations, make a cake or book a location. Put those in your calendar. Maybe 2 months before put a reminder in to call the place you want the party at. Put a reminder in for when you have to buy ingredients for the cake or the decorations. All these things take time that we don’t consider when scheduling the event in our calendars. If it’s your kids school pictures and maybe you need to buy a nice outfit – put it in your calendar. So make a list of everything that needs to get done and then put when it needs to be done by in your calendar so you know you are busy at that time. It’s always all the little things that get missed because we are busy and forget to plan for them.

Don’t over schedule yourself

If trying to worry about all the details is too much then just pick a few things or the most important thing. Every little detail does not need to be perfect so don’t over schedule yourself either.  You will drive yourself crazy if worry about all the little details.  Just do what you can and fit the important things into your schedule.

I have a great worksheet to help when you are feeling overwhelmed and the need for perfection is kicking in. Click HERE to receive the free download.

Planning Backwards

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