Overplanning, Under Living


I used to be a big over-planner. I would have schedules down to the minute so I could "get everything done." And the result was that I was always anxious. Things that messed with the schedule frustrated me big time – traffic, dawdling kids, running into someone I knew in the grocery store. I knew I had to create a different, more flowing relationship with time.

I wanted to be a person that really listened to people. I wanted to know how someone was when I saw them on an errand. I wanted to be present for my kids. I certainly didn’t want to be yelling at a slow driver that can’t hear me anyway.

Deep conversations don’t come when people aren’t present and are waiting to do the next thing on their list.

If you only go from list task to list task with out pausing, how do you know you are even doing the important things?

And when breaks aren’t taken, energy is gone before the to do list is.

If you have a calendar scheduled down to the minute or a to do list based on an ideal day without interruptions, you are going to feel anxious, unfocused, and feel badly about yourself at the end of each day.

Where can you loosen your schedule?

What can you decide not to do that will give you an extra hour or two a week?

What do you get done in an average day? Can you only put that many todos on today’s list?

Many of the satisfying and meaningful moments happen off the to do list and calendar. Be open to them today.



  • Deb says:

    Hi Beth,
    Thanks for all these great tips.
    I tried to find the link to hide the wires but could
    not find it.
    Anyway, your emails are most welcome as they
    help to keep focus of important things.
    Thanks again.

  • Rosemarie says:

    Hi Beth
    I’ve just ordered a wall file from Amazon after reading your newsletter 🙂
    I too would like to know the wires tip but it seems they might have taken the video off. Can you give us an idea of what it was?
    Great tips and good reminders as always. Your newsletter is one I always read without fail.

  • Brandy says:

    Hi. I’m new here and was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions on doing instead of just planning? I’m add and tend to get so focused on the planning of organization that I get caught up in it and never actually do the act itself.

  • Nancy Mutzl says:

    For me, the real issue was not planning for the REAL amount of time something takes to be completed. For example, grocery shopping might take one hour and I would schedule that into my day. Ok, but truly, it takes, 30 minutes to plan menu &grocery list. 10 minutes together coupons and grocery bags. 15 minutes to drive to store & walk in. 1 hour to shop. 20 minutes to walk out, load car, drive home. 15 minutes to unload car. 20 minutes tout everything away. So, in reality, my 1 hour of grocery shopping actually takes 2 hours and 50 minutes. Big difference!!!!! No wonder I always seemed behind!!!!!!

  • Beth says:

    Yes, Nancy, most of us are really bad at estimating time. It’s helpful to actually time ourselves doing regular tasks so we can plan better next time.

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