The Planner’s Flaw

Maybe I am overly perfectionist when it comes down to planning absolutely anything. For those who were wondering how I could write or post this while I am in Belgium without access the Internet; I can’t. In reality, I wrote this post a week before and requested WordPress to upload it for me at a certain date. I usually want everything to be perfect. My blog posts should be spread out evenly, I should write a story chapter a day, every task should be done before dinner… The list goes on and on. It might seem nice to be a planner, as you always know what you are supposed to do. However, there are many drawbacks to planning almost obssesively.

The first drawback to my excessive planning is that, once it does not go according to plan, I lose all will to continue as I regard it as failing. This is hard, especially during the holidays and vacations. I had been planning to finish the third book in my series when I went to Austria. The laptop failed and did not save the one chapter I had written… and I immediately could not do it anymore. I haven’t written a thing ever since. And just when I felt the desire to start again, the date on which I’d have to leave again was approaching. It all felt pointless. If I don’t manage to finish within the time range I’ve given myself, I feel like giving up.

The second drawback is that this amount of planning stresses me out more than it should. Planning is supposed to allow you to rest when you deserve to, right? I personally cannot feel rested when I know there is so much left to be done. At the moment, I am stuck with a terrible headache, just because I am stressing out. I actually had to leave my job early, just because this spot at the top of my skull was throbbing. As far as I know, that is a bad sign. It is not like I do that much in my free time, but just the feeling of never being actually free is enough to cause this.

Thirdly, certain things probably should not be forced, like writing. While I said before that it is a perfectly fine way of writing to just sit down and start, it does not always work. As it turned out for me, I cannot do that without stressing over it. What am I supposed to write today? What if I don’t like it and it is just pointless? What if I never finish it? I usually deal with deadlines fine, but not in this case. You cannot always force the creativity.

Sometimes the planner just needs a rest. No planning, no doing anything. Of course, that isn’t always possible. However, we should try not to overdo it. Not everything has to happen right the day we decide it has to. Not everything is as important. Pick your battles or you’ll end up sitting on the couch, almost unable to do a thing.

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