Planning ahead means less stress

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Planning ahead makes managing a multitude of routine tasks much easier.
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If planning is done well ahead, success is a sure thing

Hurry up. Grab your coat. Start the car. Pull out of the driveway and mash that old pedal to the floorboard. You’re on your way full speed ahead to the first of the pesky appointments on today’s agenda. Cruise like a professional race car driver—speedily but safely. Pull into the parking lot. Run up the stairs and into the dentist’s office. Why the quizzical stare from the receptionist? You’re there on the wrong day. Planning ahead was not a part of your morning.

If planning ahead sounds like a scary, monumental challenge, take a deep breath. Life can be easy or life can be hard. And even a hard life can be made easier if all of the building blocks representing family responsibilities, career goals, school schedules and the like are secure. Planning ahead means those building blocks are in no danger of creating a gigantic dust plume when they collapse into a confusing pile.

People who are procrastinators especially are in need of planning ahead, as are people who are just too busy spinning their wheels to get anything done—done right and done in a timely manner. Planning ahead is a lot easier if appointments are written down. The products available for tracking schedules, while a matter of personal preference, are plentiful. Each has its advantages.

• Wall calendars can offer lots of writing room
• Desktop calendars and journals can be near the computer
• Weekly planners are roomy yet compact
• Daily planners accommodate lots of notations
• Pocket planners are portable for reference
• Diaries can hold many important details
Address books register phone numbers, too

Make note of events well ahead of time

The acquisition of one’s choice of time-tracking devices such as a weekly planner, or any of the products available, is the first step in taking control of the problem of planning ahead. Sometimes, however, writing down important dates and times on their proper page is not enough for real security in planning ahead. Unpleasant surprises arise when appointments jotted on those pages suddenly loom without sufficient warning.

Imagine the dramatic breakfast scenario wherein someone is leisurely sipping a nice, hot cup of coffee. Suddenly, chaos erupts. The enjoyment of that exotic java, poured steaming from a high-tech coffee maker, is shattered as the devotee happens to look up at the wall calendar and realize he or she was supposed to be somewhere important—an hour ago. The process of planning ahead easily can be made more secure by using an early warning system to mark the approach of extra-important events.

One popular method helpful in planning ahead employs a roomy wall calendar and a trio of differently colored felt-tipped pens available from any art supplies outlet. Use orange, for instance, to make a noticeable mark—perhaps with a star—three weeks ahead of an important date. Make the mark on your handy wall calendar—or in your preferred product—and jot the actual date of the event that will take place, three weeks later. Use purple to do the same, two weeks ahead of time. Save the red to indicate that one week remains until the wedding or birthday or anniversary.

Planning ahead in this manner ensures there is time to buy gifts, send cards or secure a rental car for the trip to the family reunion held once every five years. It is planning ahead that makes for chronic peace of mind and a nice, relaxed trip to that family reunion—or to the next grand vacation at any of America’s best beaches.

Remedies abound for fast-changing schedules

Today, planning ahead is easier than ever due to the wide variety of helpful items such as wall calendars, weekly planners, pocket planners, etc. There is always room for other assistive aids that keep planning ahead more of a hobby than a chore. Life does not have to be a jarring experience.

Changes to schedules and plans happen quickly but they don’t have to be upsetting. Many who work hard at planning ahead like to use an erasable wall calendar to update events subject to frequent changes. The tracking of the children’s softball games and the scouts’ bake sales and the women’s club neighborhood flea market is easy when fluctuations are noted in a medium that can be erased.

Every problem has a solution. And planning ahead is the simple solution to many common but aggravating problems associated with today’s fast-paced combo of work, play—and forward progress that’s achieved without the spinning of wheels.

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