When you’re really busy, it can feel like you don’t have time to do anything else, let alone plan.
But when you are at your busiest, planning is one of the best things you can do to remove stress.
There is a separate kind of brain function at play when you’re planning than when you’re doing.
The act of choosing is one of the heaviest uses of your brain energy.
Choosing and doing requires not only a lot of energy, but activates different, separate parts of your brain.
Then your brain has to bing back ad forth between choosing and doing.
Any advance planning you do automatically limits this kind of switching back and forth between choosing and doing and frees all your brain energy to concentrate only on doing the planned task at hand.
Even planning the simplest of things is a big help.
For example, if you make a weekly meal plan before going grocery shopping, you save a ton of time and money.
Taking 5 minutes to sketch a simple grocery list based on your weekly meals, and sticking to your list when shopping saves you from having to pop back to the store several more times in the week to buy this or that ingredient.
Also, when it’s time to cook, you don’t have to choose anything. You just look at what’s on the meal plan and do it.
The pain and struggle (even if you don’t notice it because you don’t know any different) goes away and becomes a fluid, efficient meal prep and dinner time with so much less effort and guess work.
Meals even seem to be ready faster when you go by the plan.
When I first started doing this, part of me rebelled at the structure.
I liked being spontaneous with my life and meals, not wanting to know or decide that far ahead what I’d be eating on any particular day.
But during my cancer battle, meals became an important part of my healing, so I learned to try the planning.
Amazingly, it not only worked better for me, but I found myself looking forward to, even anticipating my chosen meal on the planned day.
When you don’t know what you’re going to have, you don’t have time to anticipate and look forward to it. Makes sense in this way.
My own stress level is way down as I go through my daily planned activities with ease, checking things off my list, and forcing myself time to unwind, relax and enjoy leisure, not just work, as can be the case for an active self-employed entrepreneur business owner homeschooling twin-mom.
Do you have experience with planning and how it reduces your stress level?
Tell me about it in the comments.
Want to work with Amanda on how to handle your life stuff? Get in touch about scheduling a consulting one on one session.