The problem with planning

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If you knew me at all, or even if you didn’t know me and sat behind me in class and saw the background of my laptop, you’d know that I am 100% bona fide stereotypical Type A.

I am so Type A that I over-think the most trivial stuff. When my weather app shows a 65% chance of rain, my brain runs an automatic cost-benefit analysis of wearing rain boots (jump in puddles vs. walk around looking dumb all day if it stays sunny). When I get coffee in the morning, my choice between a caramel macchiato and a cold brew is a game-time decision (the cash register is where I make up my mind).

On the flip side, over-thinking is usually a good thing when it comes to the important stuff, like PR strategy. And backpacking trips to Europe. And my morning coffee (I lied. It’s not a trivial decision. Coffee belongs in this paragraph).

Anyone in business or marketing will tell you that you need to have a plan before you set out on anything. And you do. I’ll be the first to say it, and then show you all the spreadsheets and calendars I use. But this year, I’ve challenged myself to think about how I can be more flexible about plans. Because as much as we can lay out our grand strategy for what we’re cooking, the store might not have the ingredients. Or our audience might change their appetite. Or Starbucks has run out of cold brew AND caramel syrup for the day, so you’re stuck staring at the menu as the barista stares at you.

As a new year starts and I prepare to graduate college, I’m focusing less on my environment and more on my perspective. Because what matters is your attitude about the problem, not the problem. And I have a theory that there’s a solution for anything if you look hard enough and think positively enough. Planning is wonderful and amazing and the only reason I have my life together. But it can also hold you back if you don’t know how to handle the unexpected. So, here’s a new plan I created for myself:

My Grand Strategic Plan For 2017

  • Have a plan

  • If things don’t go according to plan, plan some more


That’s it. Just take whatever curveball life throws at me and hit some home runs. Because as Type A as I am, I can’t control the weather or Starbucks (yet), so sometimes I’ll just have to walk through some puddles in my sneakers. And maybe even enjoy it. Probably not, but you never know.




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