Why Planning Never Works

by - May 16, 2015

Planning only works with work

Being 22 means my social engagements now have to be scheduled, or better yet, spontaneous. It was so easy as a teenager when you were all lumbered together in the school playground. You saw your friends everyday. Even if you didn't at weekends, it didn't matter because you knew you'd always see them.

Last summer, I had a little reunion with my longest friends from school after 3 years of trying to plan. It was like we were never apart. Then after our long day together, I suggested we meet again. It never happened again. I don't think it ever will.

I am a born planner. I write endless lists and can't function without a diary. That's ok, but planning never works for play. Here's why.

Why you'll never see your friends again

You agree to meet your friends next week. One of you back out nearer the time because of an important deadline or babysitting duties. You agree to re-schedule. At this point either scheduling never happens or you re-schedule and that follows the same fate. You never meet. Why? Because something else is always more important. Think about it, would you miss out on a carer-changing job interview because babysitting duties came in the way or you have an exam to study for? If you can find a way to get around the babysitting duties for your interview then you sure as hell can for your friends. Why is play always pushed aside for duty?

"I'm too busy."

Now this is a line heavily and most unnecessarily overused. You're not really busy. Throughout my very stressful final uni exams and my mother's mental illness I always found time for friends, but friends just never found time for me. That is because our outlook on life is different. There's so much time, even when it looks like there is none. Time can always be found. Simply, try using the word "busy" less and you'll see.

Spontaneity Works

As much as I love planning, I am also a people pleaser. A friend texted me about a student event on my sick day. Twenty minutes later, I was on the bus to meet her all bunged up in my blanket of a coat. 

My friends and I were discussing bridesmaid dresses on a WhatsApp group chat. It was Saturday. One of them asked me if I would be free in the evening or "tomorrow". I said yes because that's the truth while the others backed out. That is because we have it drilled into our heads that meeting will need days of planning ahead. We will make excuses in our heads about how "busy" we are that day when actually we're not.

Here's How

Next time you have a free afternoon. Send a text to ask if any of your friends are free. Encourage them to try this method too. It won't always work, but I can guarantee better results than if you tried to plan.

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