Many proudly spontaneous folks bristle at the idea of planning. They think that only uptight, Type A sorts plan everything out and that doing so stifles creativity.
Yeah, well. They’re wrong about that.
Planning and spontaneity both have their place and you need to know when to go with each one.
Tasks that are recurring and don’t require a lot of creativity are best done following a process. That process should include all the clearly defined steps you take in a particular order to get the job done. It can also include a consistent time and day that you do the process. This is where the term “reinventing the wheel” got started. Why spend time recreating everything when you can follow a process that works and get your work done more quickly and efficiently? Great examples of things that need a planned routine include:
• Handling email
• Handling paper
• Client intake routines
• Financial processes
• Agendas for recurring meetings
• Blog posting topic calendar – plan ahead what you’ll write about and when
• Social media interactions – which platforms are right for you and when will you engage?
A bonus to this way of working is that the things that are generally less fun get knocked out faster, leaving you more time to be creative.
Times when being spontaneous and creative will serve you better include:
• The writing of the blog post
• What you choose to share on social media
• Solution centered work with clients
• Product development
• Brainstorming anything
• Being social/having fun
• Preventing burnout by taking a mental health day or even stepping away from the grind for short break
Note that some efforts incorporate planning and creativity. In that case create a process for the parts you can so there’s room – and time — for the fun stuff.