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10 Reasons Why You Should Stop Making Plans

10 Reasons Why You Should Stop Making Plans

Life is about taking chances and you know what ruins such a chance? Plans. Plans. And today, I give you 10 reasons why it’s time for you to drop your pen and stop making plans to live your life full with chances!

1. Plans are just an illusion.

By making plans, you just create an illusion of control to yourself. You must be flexible enough to put a plan aside, especially if things don’t go the way you think they will. Plans are OK to work on, but really, a complete plan is illusory and rarely comes out the way you think it will.

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2. Plans skew perspective

What you imagine may not be what you see. Plans may alter your viewpoint, creating confusion to yourself. How you view your plan may look perfect, but as we go, the real form which will differ may change you point of view towards it.

3. Plans are solely guesses

No way can a person be so sure about their plans. They are merely hypothesis that you draw from your point of view. Plans are often laid out while you make guesses about what will be best to happen and how will it happen. In other words, they are not something solid and they are just possibilities you created for yourself that may or may not happen.

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4. Plans may blind you

You are often so fixated with your mind, carrying out your plan that perhaps you would have overlooked some other better options. Chances are there will be a whole new opportunity presented in front of your eyes but with plans that blinded your vision, you might just walked pass it. Before you know it, you had just missed that hard-to-get kind of opportunity.

5. Waste of time and energy

While laying out the whole plan, you definitely have to invest your time and energy in order to lay out what is on your mind.  You will also be wasting your time making assumptions and guesses that may or may not happen. Draining your energy thinking and keeping track of your plan can become exhausting.

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6. Source of unnecessary stress

Life is stressful enough to lead everyone in hope for a good rest, uninterrupted. Making plans would not make life easier by any chance. You may just end up gaining more stress compared to those that spend their free time with leisure and rest instead of making plans. With plans, you will feel anxious and you will be worry with fear that your plan may fail. How stressful will this be?

7. Party-spoilers

You rejected almost all invitations to have fun in order to keep your plan going. You are too concentrated on your plans and you literally zoned out all the fun around you. Even when you decided to just let yourself loose, guilt surrounds you with the thought that you have a plan to keep going. With all these restrictions, how are plans fun?

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8. Loss of the creative mind

After struggling with the mind and self, you finally managed to come out with a plan. You are satisfied with what you came out with and would definitely protect it. But what if as you go, something else comes up, a better way of doing it, a more unique way of solving a problem or achieving a goal? As you locked yourself with the plan, you will lock away the creative side in you with fear of taking chances.

9. Disappointments

Face the facts. Plans do not bring that much of satisfaction to you. Most of the time they will lead you to disappointment, pulling you down. It doesn’t always work the way you want and the outcome may not always be how you imagined it to be. Why would you want to fall into this pit of disappointment when the life away from plans is much more fun?

10. Give yourself a break!

This is the ultimate reason for not having any plans. Kick all the pens and papers away, free your mind and just lay back. Throw all the plans behind and enjoy the luxurious carefree life. Not having a plan means granting yourself the ability to do nothing at all.

Featured photo credit: Keith Williamson via flickr.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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