With a simple plan, suddenly the world opens up.
I realize that I can corral my thoughts into a finite direction. I don’t need to be led by my thoughts like a dog on a leash. Instead, I can be the one who guides my errant thinking processes.
There’s an important distinction I need to make about planning.
A simple plan is not a 30-minutes worry session about the exact process I need to make my life perfect. That’s the anxiety talking and taking control of my life.
A simple plan is a clear road map for what I can do for the rest of the day or in the next few hours. And it looks like this.
I take out a piece of paper, and I write down my top 3 most important tasks for the day. I try to be as detailed as possible about what those tasks are because I know this: if I just splatter my worried thoughts onto the page without giving them specificity, I will soon become overwhelmed by what’s on the piece of paper. Clarity gives me a path that I can follow.
After I’ve clearly defined those tasks and what I need to do to complete those tasks, I then write down–or put in my Gmail calendar–when I will do those tasks. I’ve found that if I can also think through where I will do those tasks, then I increase the likelihood that I will get them done.
So much of getting through anxiety and actually building momentum in life comes from doing a little planning beforehand.
I set myself up for success by planning for success. And it feels great.
Before I know it, I’m moving. I’m going about my day and taking action. And when I take action, I don’t have the mental space to worry about other things. Because I’m actually doing the things I know I want to do.
This is very different from worrying about everything I could do or should do or feel pressured to do.
It’s a clear path forward out of the woods of my mind–and into the open fields away from the anxiety I’ve left behind.