I often tell people simply, point blank, that I’m a planner.
Because I am. I write myself to-do lists most days. Try to impose structure so I don’t get lost. I like having a plan. And I enjoy setting into a routine.
It makes it easier not to forget important things, yes. But there’s also comfort in it. Having a routine is lot like rereading a book after a long time away from it. It’s comforting when you know what to expect, roughly speaking. There’s something to be said for sameness, for knowing where you fit into a day.
But you don’t want it to get too samey-same, do you?
I find that when things get too rigid that I can feel oppressed. Bored. And I don’t like that either.
So even though I tell people I’m a planner, it’s probably not quite as simple as planning each and every step and in the exact order before I do anything.
Instead, I start with a basic skeleton. A rough outline. And I experiment and play. And as I see how things work or really don’t, I’ll adjust. Add more to my structure. Or perhaps delete something.
Sometimes I’ll end up with a whole new list and find myself combining the two in fantastic chimera fashion. Nipping here, tucking there, getting to the heart of what’s same and what’s different and why.
And then a new list is born.
It sounds like chaos through one lens, I suppose, but it’s the best way I’ve found to deal with it. Because part of me craves structure, stability, sameness – and the other part wants novelty, flexibility, growth.
I’m a planner, but I find I need to be able to update the plan when it makes sense to, and that if you can’t manage it, it can often be worse than going in with no plan at all.