Could I ever imagine that the year of 2022 would be a year of tremendous changes in the whole society I belong to? When I was developing my work strategy for 2022 year in October 2021, could I ever imagine that my planning methods and principles are going to be tested by such external events as war? After childbirth and COVID-19 pandemic, wartime seems to be the cosmic joke. But it is not. It’s my life which I try to accept.
I often compare childbirth with a war. My life changed drastically right in a moment I felt a small heavy body on my chest. All my plans and expectations were ruined. I didn’t belong to myself anymore. I was shocked, angry and couldn’t believe that I delivered a human being to this world. I felt depressed, misunderstood, trapped, terrified and overwhelmed. As well as childbirth, the war became a before-and-after event of my life. When hostilities began, I tried to stick to the planning principles which I developed during my 2-year-old motherhood. These principles showed their viability on practice.
In this article I’d like to define my planning principles explicitly and put them at one place. I wish this article helps people to get back to work and retrieve life balance faster whatever stressful and traumatic circumstances knock them out of the track.
6 PRINCIPLES OF PLANNING THAT HELP ME TO REMAIN SANE AND CONTINUE WORKING DURING THE WARTIME:
- Planning habit is a must.
Routine calms nervous system down. Let planning become your routine. Use the last week of the current month to plan the next month, weekend of the current week to plan the next week, 15 minutes in the evening to plan the next day.
- General-to-Specific order works the best.
Firstly, write down all projects that you put on hold or wanted to start before traumatic events occurred. Secondly, set specific goals per each project. Thirdly, make a specific timetable for each goal.
3. Visualization makes everything more clear.
A road map might be helpful. It allows to visualize the amount of time you plan to spend on a certain project and correct this amount, if needed. Putting your projects on the road map is not necessary, but you may find this instrument useful. Experiment with visualization tools.
- One project at a time.
Focus on one project only. When you are under stress and uncertainty, your work becomes more sporadic rather than scheduled. If you have several projects ongoing at the same time, it would take a lot of energy to have all of them in focus.
- Successful planning is flexible, not rigid.
Review your strategy and adjust it periodically. What you expected to be working in the beginning of the year, may not be applicable today. Circumstances may change, your priorities may change.
Personally I decided to review my yearly strategy once a year. In the middle of the current year (June-July), if being more precise. I created a new road map for the rest of 2022, discarded and postponed some projects and set other, more realistic, deadlines.
- Little memories matter.
On Friday evening we often don’t remember what we ate on breakfast. Not speaking about what we did on Monday. Our brain tends to erase small events from our memory in order to keep more important (as we may mistakenly think) information. But the trick is that our life consists of small events. Forgetting them leads to forgetting the entire life. As a result, you may feel as if you do nothing important in your life. In order to prevent this happening, build a daily habit to write down what you have done or achieved today. If you think that you did nothing, write down what you are thankful for today.
The practice of reflecting daily events is a good memory trainer. Moreover, these notes will help you to keep little memories and recall them easily when you need them to comfort yourself. From planning point of view, the practice of writing down daily achievements will allow you to track your progress, analyze your working pace and plan more efficiently in future.
It’s never late to start making plans until you’re alive. Don’t let stress and grief take your happiness from you. Fight for your comfort and happy future.
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