The Big Picture Plan

I took my daughter into the city on the weekend to do some Christmas shopping with my sister.  It’s become an annual tradition for them. This year, circumstances were a little different, so we invited one of her friends to come along. 

The big picture plan for the day looked like this:

We’d take the train into the city (so I didn’t have to drive.)

The girls would shop for a few hours with my sister.

I’d either go visit a friend or hang out at my sister’s place, and then join them at the Bay to see the Christmas windows when it got dark.

We’d ride the train home.

The Details

Now, I did have to plan out a few of the details, like what time we’d need to catch the train.  And what time we’d pick up the friend in order to be on time for the train.  I also checked to see the return train times, so I knew our options at the end of the day. 

Once we were on the train, I texted my sister and let her know when we’d arrive.  We’d choose a meeting place once we got there.

I also had the girls write the names of the people on their shopping list (my sister’s only request!)

No Micro-Planning Allowed

After that, I let the day unfold.

Here’s what I didn’t plan.

I didn’t decide what stores they’d go to, or at what exact time they’d stop for a break or be at the Christmas windows.  I didn’t even know what train we’d be on to come home.

I ended up staying at the mall, because my niece joined us, and I chose to spend some time with her.  Because I didn’t have every minute of my time in the city planned out, I could take the opportunity to visit with her when I had the chance.

In other words, I didn’t micro-plan (or over plan) our day.

Finding Balance

The same is true when it comes to making plans for your business next year.  You need to have an overall plan or else you’ll wind up here, there, and everywhere. 

Plan too many details in advance and you’ll find yourself over-committed and disappointed because you can’t participate in the unplanned opportunities that come your way.

Finding balance between the big picture and the derails can be tricky!

Read more about these kinds of planning challenges plus more in this post called 9 Sure Fire Ways to Sabotage Your Plans for 2019 Before You Even Start.