productivity

Go With Your Gut: 7 Reasons Why You Should Skip 2024 Big Picture Planning

December 25, 2023

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Go With Your Gut: 7 Reasons Why You Should Skip 2024 Big Picture Planning

Ever wondered if ditching the detailed plan and diving into the spontaneous chaos of life is the way to go? In Episode 206 of It’s About Time, I’m sharing seven reasons why you should totally consider skipping annual planning.

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Why you should skip annual planning…

Hey friends, and welcome to Episode 206 of It’s About Time  – today, I’m going to give you seven reasons why you shouldn’t big picture plan your year ahead. 

Oh yes – You heard that right, I’ve got seven really good reasons why you should skip annual planning ready for you. We’re talking about burning your planners, deleting your Google Calendar, and embracing the sweet chaos of life. 

But here’s the twist – as we dive into these seven reasons why Big Picture Planning is super lame, we might just uncover why, despite the sweet seduction of winging it, big picture planning just might be the secret sauce you didn’t know you needed. I don’t know – you’ll have to keep reading to see what happens here. 

But I mean, think about it – every day, you’re out there juggling a million things, making decisions on the fly, and trusting your gut, which, let’s face it, is pretty darn awesome. 

But what if I told you that a little bit of planning might just amplify that awesomeness? Take it to a whole new level?

Are you Intrigued? You should be! 

We’re about to embark on a journey through the land of ‘What-Ifs’ and ‘But-Maybe-Just-Maybes.’ 

From the freedom of drifting without direction to the excitement of unanticipated challenges, we’ll cover it all – and who knows, by the end of this episode, you might just be reaching for that calendar after all.

So, buckle up, grab your favorite drink, and let’s get started. 

So today, I’m sharing

  • 7 reasons why you should consider skipping annual planning
  • The surprising benefits of being spontaneous and drifting aimlessly
  • How to make better decisions, reduce your stress and handle life’s curveballs
  • Your new favorite tool for getting your life together, Big Picture style

Before we dive in, if you’re brand new here or you’re not sure what I mean when I say Big Picture Planning, head back one episode to Episode 205 to get the inside scoop on all things Big Picture Planning. In a nut shell, Big Picture Planning is zooming out of the day-to-day and taking a big picture look at your year. It’s making decisions broadly about what you want to do and when. I love doing my Big Picture Planning with my giant  Big Picture Year wall calendar, and you can get your own Big Picture year wall calendar here. 

But – this episode is about why you should SKIP Big Picture Planning, so let’s get to it with reason number one. 

Reason 1: Drifting Aimless is your Favorite 

Reason 1, which is all about the ‘thrill’ of drifting aimlessly. 

Ah, the exhilaration of not knowing what’s next! What an adventure! 

Let’s paint a picture here. Imagine it’s a regular Tuesday. You sit down at your desk, coffee in hand, ready to seize the day. Except, there’s no plan. Your calendar is as blank as a canvas in an art class. Your to-do list? What to-do list? There is none! 

Sounds liberating, right? No constraints, no pesky to-dos. Just pure, unadulterated freedom.

But here’s the catch. Without a direction, how do you know where you’re heading? Think about it. That freedom can quickly turn into hours of pondering, ‘What should I do first? What should I do next?’ The next thing you know, you’re not the boss of your day; you’re just putting out whatever fire comes your way. 

That’s where big picture planning sneaks in as your unsung hero. It’s not about micromanaging every moment of your day; it’s about having a vision. A big picture vision for where you want your career to go, how you want your business to grow, and what personal milestones you want to hit.

With a big picture plan, you’re not restricting your freedom; you’re channeling it. You’re saying, ‘This is where I’m headed, and these are the steps I’m taking to get there.’ It’s about setting your compass to your true north and then navigating with purpose.

So, while the idea of drifting aimlessly might have its charm, having a direction ensures you’re not just moving, but moving forward – towards goals that matter to you, both in work and life.

Reason 2: You Love Wasting Time 

Alright Reason Number 2 – You should totally skip big picture planning if you love wasting time. 

Ah, the sweet art of wasting time – who hasn’t indulged in that guilty pleasure?

Imagine that you’re back at your desk. This time you’ve got a to-do list, and in fact, You have a million things you could do, but without a plan, you decide to choose… none of them! 

Instead, you spend the first hour checking emails, reading a couple newsletters, you look at some flights for a vacation you’d like to take, then you watch some stories on Instagram – that takes you over to Amazon for some shopping, and before you know it, lunchtime rolls around, and what have you accomplished? Well, let’s just say your winter wardrobe is going to be looking pretty nice once your Amazon packages arrive. 

But let’s flip the script. Imagine if you had your year sketched out. You know what projects need your attention, what goals are your focus, and suddenly, your time isn’t just passing by; it’s being invested. Invested in growing your business, in personal development, in achieving those milestones that, deep down, you know you’re capable of reaching.

That’s the magic of big picture planning. It doesn’t steal your spontaneity; it amplifies it. When you manage your time effectively, you create space. Space for creativity, for unexpected opportunities, even for those well-deserved breaks where you can genuinely relax and indulge in some scrolling and shopping, knowing you’re on track with your goals.

So, while basking in the chaos of unstructured time might seem appealing, structured planning with a touch of flexibility can actually free you up to enjoy the moments that truly matter.

Reason 3: You Love the Excitement of Unexpected Chaos 

Alright – on to Reason Number 3. The third reason why you should skip big picture planning is that you love the excitement of scrambling to deal with unforeseen obstacles. 

I mean, who doesn’t love a little surprise chaos in their workday? Ah the thrill of crisis management – it’s like living in your very own action movie, isn’t it?

Imagine you’re chugging way on a project. Out of nowhere, BAM! An unexpected client request hits. Then, POW! A last-minute deadline swoops in.  What’s that? Daycare called and your kid has a fever?  

You’re dodging, weaving, putting out fires left and right. It’s exhilarating! It’s exhausting… It’s… actually, it’s pretty stressful, isn’t it?

Now, let’s envision a different scene. One where, thanks to your annual planning, you’ve anticipated potential challenges. You have strategies in place, buffers built into your schedule, and a clear head to tackle these surprises – yes, even surprise calls from Daycare –  not as crises, but as manageable blips in your well-prepared plan.

This is where big picture planning truly shines. It’s like having a secret superpower. You can’t predict the future, but you can certainly prepare for it. Planning gives you a roadmap, a set of tools to navigate the unpredictable with grace and composure.

So, while there’s a certain charm to the chaos of the unknown, there’s an even greater satisfaction in gracefully handling what life throws at you – all thanks to a little foresight and a solid plan.

Reason 4: You love making last-minute decisions. 

Moving on to Reason 4: The sheer delight of making last-minute decisions. Get ready friends, we’re about to explore why flying by the seat of your pants could be the most thrilling ride of your life – or perhaps the most frantic. Because who doesn’t love a good adrenaline rush from time to time?

Like in this situation: Imagine that you’re wrapping up your week, and suddenly, a major curveball falls into your lap and you need to make a big decision – right now. Maybe it’s navigating a PR crisis, deciding whether to keep a team member or let them go. Maybe it’s realizing you need to slash your budget after reviewing your latest financials. 

There’s no time to think, no time to weigh options, just pure, unfiltered, split-second decision-making. It’s like being a contestant on a game show where the grand prize is… well, keeping your business afloat.

But let’s step back for a moment. Imagine a world where those 11th-hour decisions are rare rather than the norm. A world where, thanks to your big picture planning you’ve already mapped out the major decisions. You know what resources you’ll need, when you’ll need them, and you’ve got a plan to get them.

This is the power of strategic big picture planning. Big picture planning isn’t about stripping away your ability to make those on-the-spot calls; it’s about reducing the need to make them in the first place. It’s giving you the space to think, to be strategic, and to make choices that aren’t just good for right now, but great for your future.

So, while the thrill of last-minute decisions can be exhilarating, the calm confidence that comes from well-thought-out plans is truly empowering. It’s about trading chaos for clarity, and panic for purpose.

Reason 5: You feel motivated 24/7. 

We’re halfway through our list of reasons to skip out on big picture planning your 2024. Now, brace yourselves for Reason 5: You ready? You should skip big picture planning if You don’t need any help getting motivated throughout the year. 

Who needs structured goals when you’ve got an endless fountain of self-motivation, right?

You wake up every single day, fired up and ready to conquer the world. Always full of boundless energy, your focus is unwavering. You’re like a productivity superhero! 

Except, let’s be real, even superheroes have their off days.

I don’t know about you, but endless motivation is just not real for me. I have ups and downs, and I’ll bet that you do, too. 

But, imagine having a plan that serves as your very own motivational sidekick. The Robin to your Batman. The Dionne to your Cher. Big Picture planning isn’t about stifling  your natural drive; it’s about giving it direction. A well-laid-out plan for your year acts like a roadmap for those days when your inner GPS is a bit foggy and the warning lights on for your motivational fuel tank. 

Big Picture Planning is about setting yourself up for success, day in and day out, with clear milestones that keep you on track. And let’s not forget about accountability – sharing your goals with a team member, a mentor or a coach can boost your commitment, turning ‘I hope I can’ into ‘I know I will.’

So, while your natural motivation is truly a fantastic asset, teaming it with a big picture plan can supercharge your productivity and progress. It’s about transforming that spark of motivation into a steady, burning flame that lights the way throughout your year.

Reason 6: You’re cool with being unprepared when opportunities come your way. 

Now, on to Reason 6. Ready for this one? You’re completely fine with not being prepared when an amazing opportunity knocks on your door. Who needs readiness when you can live in the thrilling realm of unpredictability? If that sounds like you – you should probably skip big picture planning. 

Think about an opportunity that you’d love to come your way. Maybe your dream client reached out and wants to work with you. You get an invitation to talk about your work on a local morning show. A major influencer in your industry wants to collab with you on some content. You’re offered a major project, promotion or partnership. 

Well – that fantastic opportunity suddenly appears. It’s big, it’s exciting, it’s… oh wait, you’re not ready to seize it. You’re like a deer in the headlights, watching with your mouth open as the opportunity passes you by. So long, chance of a lifetime!

But what if you had a plan? What if you were prepared not just for the opportunities you see coming, but also primed to jump on those you don’t? That’s where big picture planning comes into play.

With a year mapped out, you’re not just responding to opportunities and reacting to whatever comes your way; you’re anticipating those opportunities. You’ve got a clear understanding of your resources, your time, and your capabilities. It’s like having a hidden deck of Aces, ready to play at just the perfect moment. 

So, while the spontaneity of unpreparedness has its charms, being strategically prepared means you’re not just waiting for opportunities; you’re creating them. It’s about turning the unexpected into the perfectly timed.

Reason Number 7: You believe work/life balance will just magically sort itself out. 

Alright – we’re moving into our final reason why you should skip big picture planning. This is going to be a good one, so keep listening.

Reason 7: You believe that work-life balance will just magically sort itself out. Who needs plans when you can just ride the waves of chaos and hope for the best in balancing your personal and professional life?

It’s like being a juggler in a circus – you’re balancing on a unicycle, up on the high wire, and you’ve got work in one hand, your personal life in the other, and you’re tossing them up in the air hoping they somehow land in perfect harmony. It’s a thrilling performance, sure, but one small slip and everything comes tumbling down. 

So, let’s envision a different scenario. What if you had a plan that helped you allocate your time effectively – intentionally? A plan that included not just your business or professional goals, but also your personal well-being, your family time, and those precious moments of self-care?

This is where big picture planning truly becomes a lifesaver. It’s about intentionally carving out time for all aspects of your life. It means you’re not constantly overworking or feeling guilty about neglecting your personal needs. It’s about creating a balance that supports your well-being while still driving towards your professional ambitions.

So, while the idea of letting work-life balance figure itself out seems appealing in its spontaneity, the reality is that a bit of planning can go a long way in ensuring you don’t burn out. It’s about giving equal importance to your work and your life outside of it.

So there you have it.

Seven reasons to skip big picture planning, and why, they aren’t as foolproof as they might seem. While going with your gut definitely has its place, integrating your intuition with structured planning can significantly enhance both your professional and personal life.

And if this episode has you curious about Big Picture Planning, I’ve got something exciting just for you! If today’s seven reasons have sparked a flame within you to start planning with purpose, then you’re in luck!

Back when I started big picture planning several years ago, I looked high and low for a calendar that gave me a simple, year-at-a-glance view of all 12 months ahead. Somewhere that I could really see what I had planned, and make sure I wasn’t overloading myself and that I was being strategic and thoughtful about how I wanted to spend my time in the year ahead.

But it was SO hard to find one that wasn’t… let me be frank – ugly. 

So – last year, I created my own. It’s called the Big Picture Year Planning Calendar, and it’s exactly what you need to step into your year with a purposeful plan. 

And when I say BIG I mean BIg! The Big Picture Year Planning Calendar comes in a 3 foot by 2 foot vertical layout, and a 2 foot by 3 foot horizontal layout, so you can pick your favorite way to layout your year. Plus, it comes in four colors: Classic Navy, Hydrangea Blue, Peony Pink and Cool Gray so it’ll fit right in at home or in your work space. 

In addition to having a space to plan out all 366 days of 2024 – oh yeah, it’s a Leap Year – each month also has a special spot to capture your Focus for each month and a place to capture your 2024 Word of the Year. My 2024 Word of the Year is Believe, and I know that having it visible all year long is going to be huge for driving my decisions. 

When you get your Big Picture Year Planning Calendar, you don’t just get a calendar, you get access to the entire printable Calendar Collection. That’s right! Both layouts, and all four colors to choose from. Plus a Printing and Supply Guide so you’ll have everything you need to plan your year at your fingertips.  And did I mention that when you get your Big Picture Planning Calendar, you get a VIP invitation to the 2024 Big Picture Planning Party happening in January? 

To get your 2024 Big Picture Year Planning Calendar – go straight to bigpictureyear.com. 

So, don’t wait! Grab your calendar now and get ready to step into 2024 feeling ready for whatever opportunities and adventures come your way.  

Alright, that’s a wrap for today’s episode. 

Thanks for joining me on this delightful exploration of chaos, crisis and missed opportunities. Remember, a little bit of big picture planning can be the key to unlocking a year of incredible achievements and  work/life balance on your terms.

Alright – that’s all for today. Thanks so much for tuning in. Talk to you soon!

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