Are you new to the concept of planning? Or maybe you have little motivation boosts and you have times when you plan absolutely everything, but you are not able to stay on course because the schedule seems too strict?
You absolutely must discover the concept of flexible planning.
Although we are planners, we strongly discredit the ‘’hustle culture'' and unrealistic planning.
Achieve your goals, it does not necessarily mean making sacrifices to the detriment of other important spheres in your life.
Precisely, the purpose of planning is to be able to achieve its objectives while maintaining a life balance. Otherwise, it will be impossible to maintain your routine without adding a significant mental and physical load and ultimately harming your health.
Flexible scheduling is the key to helping you organize your schedule efficiently.
We will help you demystify this practice one step at a time, right here!
What is Flexible Scheduling?
In short, flexible planning (also called flexible) is a planning method that adapts to your lifestyle to help you manage your time better and get organized.
The practice is increasingly popular among people who like to plan their lives with balance, as it offers greater flexibility and freedom than other planning methods.
Flexible planning focuses on using flexible techniques and tools to help you achieve your goals. It moves away from more rigid planning methods that are based on detailed long-term planning and a pre-established schedule.
It allows its users to adapt more easily to changes in their schedule and priorities. It is also easier to implement, as it requires less planning in advance and time to organize its activities.
How can flexible scheduling help you?
Flexible scheduling allows you to be more flexible and responsive to changes in your life (probably as busy as mine 😅). In addition, it allows you to focus on the implementation of your objectives rather than the planning itself.
Finally, it can also help you stay organized while dealing with the unexpected of everyday life.
How to practice flexible planning?
To practice flexible planning, you have to know how to adapt. The key is to bend without breaking. Indeed, your plan should be easy to modify and shape according to the changes that may occur in your life. This is why, even if you plan for the long term, I advise you not to put too many details. Give yourself a chance!
For example, if you plan to become a real estate owner in exactly 5 years, here is how I would plan it in my journal:
- Buy a house 🏡
This is how I do it wouldn't plan if I use flexible scheduling.
- Buy a two-storey house, in Gaspésie, with a swimming pool, 4 bedrooms and facing the lake.
Not that the second option isn't good, but at this point it's just not necessary. Keep in mind that you are planning this goal in 5 years! Things have time to change and if you remain too strict in your plans, you risk missing opportunities and even never being able to achieve your goal.
Think about it, maybe right now, the house in Gaspésie is your ultimate dream. But in 5 years, maybe you will have had an opportunity to work in Europe and you can buy your property there instead! If you get too stuck on your goals and pass on opportunities because you think they won't bring you back to your ultimate goal, you're going to miss your life. You just have to rethink your plan.
Sometimes you just have to trust life. Trust that it will take you exactly where you need to be to achieve your dreams.
The best time to detail your goals would be in your short-term planning. This is when you are best positioned to manifest exactly what you want at this exact moment.
How to integrate flexibility into your planning?
A great way to build adaptability into your life is through microplanning, one of the flexible planning techniques.
Microplanning is a big word for breaking down your plans into smaller pieces. It is often called bottom-up planning, since it is a technique that focuses primarily on short-term planning, the "how" and its details.
Conversely, macro-planning focuses on the “what” and its details. It’s the most traditional technique to start with your long-term vision and use a top-down “what” to “how” planning process.
To use the microplanning technique, you must first know where you are going. Basically, you're going to need to make a annual plan, monthly, weekly and finally, daily. The key is to have clear objectives and finally to detail your plan to get there, little by little.
There are many tools and techniques you can use to practice flexible planning.
One of the most important tools is the use of a calendar. Obviously, a calendar is a great tool for planning your activities in advance and allows you to have a bird's eye view of your schedule if something unexpected happens.
Pro tip: Always write in pencil in your calendar! Nothing is cast in stone, you never know what can happen.
You can also use task lists (also say 'to-do list') To-do lists can help you ensure that you are able to complete your tasks on time. These are great reminder tools, but also a good way to become aware of your workload. Perfect, we become ambitious… even a little too much. Having all your detailed tasks on a list is a good way to "quantify" our tasks and adjust them if necessary.
My little advice is to stay realistic and even set less tasks than you think you can accomplish. Adding tasks to the list because you have already completed everything is motivating!
The good old notepad! It's often overlooked, but it's an excellent tool for flexible planning. You can put important ideas, reminders, affirmations - anything! That's the brilliant thing about them being a blank slate.
If you're not a fan of paper, digital tools like Google Calendar, Basecamp or others can also be great for flexible planning.
Flexible scheduling is a planning method that adapts to your changing lifestyle and priorities.
It allows you to be more flexible to changes in your schedule and allows you to better manage your time and get organized. However, your work is not done once you have written your plan. The most important aspect of flexible planning is staying flexible with yourself.
A plan, no matter how well done, won't help you move forward if you don't give yourself the flexibility to make changes to it. You can't predict everything, life is complicated, things change and flexibility is important!