The deadline is five minutes away and you are scrambling to complete a simple task made difficult because you waited. I have been there, but I typically avoid such situations by planning in advance.
Planning is engraved into my workflow. I was the student who sat down with all my syllabi prior to a semester to efficiently plan each day. I am the traveler who looks at maps to find possible stopping locations and alternate routes in the months prior to the trip. Planning ahead will likely eliminate obstacles that you otherwise are limping through. Planning ahead may be the difference between you completing a project or allowing something to fall through the cracks.
Here are five key advantages to planning ahead:
1. PLANNING AHEAD ENABLES YOU TO PRIORITIZE TASKS.
Every task is important, but some require more focus and have a higher priority. When you plan ahead, you have a larger perspective on the upcoming agenda. Knowing the outlook of your week will allow you to set goals that are attainable at your pace. Plan to tackle the harder tasks when your energy level is up and your mind is sharp (morning, afternoon, evening, etc).
2. PLANNING AHEAD SETS YOU UP FOR EASY WINS.
You should start each day with an easy win. Completing a task quickly and efficiently sets you up for further success. As you plan your week, month, and year, assign easy goals that you can accomplish to get the day rolling. Accomplishing tasks early and quickly give you the motivation to keep going.
3. PLANNING AHEAD ALTERS YOUR WORKFLOW EFFICIENCY.
Organized and unorganized people both have a workflow. Typically the unorganized individual has a workflow that is a wild ride to the finish line. While this works for some, planning ahead and spending some time up front, could frantically increase your efficiency. Always be prepared for possible changes, but planning ahead provides you a path for future success.
4. PLANNING AHEAD PAVES THE WAY FOR THOSE TIMES YOU MUST SAY NO.
Let us be honest, it is hard saying no. Helping people and serving is what we do. However, if we are going to be most effective, there are times where saying no is the best thing we can do, even if it is a good thing. Your probability of saying no is challenging to determine if you do not know your plan. A solid thought out plan builds in time to say yes. Knowing your plan also enables you to say no without scrambling or submitting to another’s plan.
5. PLANNING AHEAD ALLOWS YOU TO BE SENSITIVE TO THE SPIRIT.
There is nothing worse than feeling tied to an agenda. While an agenda is necessary, often our agenda can easily get in the way of God’s agenda. A well thought out plan should be Spirit led as we pray and ask for God’s will to be done. Our willingness to plan ahead often keeps us on target with deadlines and tasks. Therefore, when the Spirit moves, we do not feel the overwhelming pressures of deciding which way to turn. Planning ahead helps us to be sensitive to God’s Spirit.
Take time at the beginning of the week, month, and year to plan. Write out goals and tasks. Use an app if necessary. Plan ahead and be excited about what God has directed you toward. Be sensitive to the Spirit and plan according to His plan for your life!
What do you use to plan ahead? Do you have any helpful apps that you use? How far do you typically plan ahead?
Written by Justin Beville. Justin has been married to Amanda Beville for over six years and has one son named Luke and twin boys, Tucker and Turner! He received his Bachelor’s degree in Christian Studies with a minor in Student Ministry from the College at Southeastern. Justin went on to complete his Advanced MDiv. at Southeastern. He currently serves as the Pastor of Students and Outreach at Kingsland Baptist Church. Like this article? Read more from Justin here!
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