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The Myth of Maximum Planning: The Necessity of Prioritization and Space

Planning every moment of every day is tempting. With a myriad of things we wish to achieve and experience, mapping out each second can appear to be the best way to make the most of our time.

However, the drive to "maximize" can lead to BIG problems.

As humans, we are wired to seek progress and accomplishment. These feelings signal to us that we are not lazy, that we are hardworking and deserving of whatever joy or success comes our way. Yet, this pursuit of constant productivity can also be an illusion that ultimately drives us and our nervous systems into chaos.

Planning every second of every day is simply not sustainable in the long run. It fails to account for emergencies, last-minute joys, or ... LIFE. Because, let's face it, LIFE HAPPENS. Constantly.

Rigidity sets us up for frustration and irritation whenever something interrupts our carefully crafted plans. We find ourselves constantly falling behind, as the possibility of nothing unexpected ever happening is simply not realistic. We end up spending our time trying to catch up to our impossible schedules, which is more likely to lead to burnout than happiness.

So, how can we plan without setting ourselves up for a treadmill race that leaves us feeling depleted and wondering where we went wrong?

𝟭. 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗲 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗧𝗿𝘂𝗹𝘆 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀

Instead of planning for everything, focus on what matters most. While uncomfortable, this approach builds two crucial skills: prioritization and focus. Success is not about doing everything but about knowing what matters most to you and dedicating the majority of your time and energy to it.

Also, don't kid yourself with the 'not doing everything is not an option for me' story.

Pretending you 'have no option' simply means that you have decided NOT to be the one at the helm of your priority list. It means you opted to flip a coin and allow the universe to decide what gets cut from your over-packed days each time an emergency pops up or something doesn't go exactly as planned. Remember: it isn't that you CAN'T prioritize, it's that you decide not to.

𝟮. 𝗔𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝗪𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗬𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗩𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲𝘀

Ensure that what you focus on aligns with your highest values, not just with what pleases others. Prioritizing values to gain approval or please others means building someone else’s castle instead of your own. While supporting those we love is important, sacrificing your dreams for false admiration or chasing after dreams that come from external sources will only lead to misery and regrets.

𝟯. 𝗔𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄 𝗥𝗼𝗼𝗺 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗟𝗶𝗳𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗛𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗻

A schedule needs space to breathe. Scheduling every moment is unsustainable. Leave room for life to happen, because it will. Thinking that you don’t have time for life is unrealistic—it will show up, whether you plan for it or not. Deciding in advance what can be sacrificed is better than having that decision made for you.

𝟰. 𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗳𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗦𝗮𝘆𝗶𝗻𝗴 "𝗡𝗼"

Learning to say "no" is a crucial skill in maintaining balance. It allows you to prioritize your own needs and goals, protecting your time and energy from being drained by commitments that don’t align with your priorities. Saying "no" doesn’t mean you’re being selfish; it means you’re being mindful of your own well-being and capacity.

In the end, balance is key. Prioritize what truly matters, align with your values, leave room for the unexpected, and learn to say no. This approach will not only help you navigate life's challenges with greater ease and fulfillment, it will lead to a life that you can truly call your own.


Coach Anna Lang


If you are struggling with time management, over-commitment, saying no, or prioritizing your needs, please reach out - I have a variety of programs and options available to support you in prioritizing, setting boundaries, clearing your calendar, and clarifying what matters to YOU. Book a FREE 15 minute discovery session here:

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