The PLANNING is the hardest part!

One might think that as an ADHDer I would agree with Tom Petty that “Waiting is the hardest part.” I certainly won’t make the argument that waiting is easy. It is probably in the top five hardest parts. But I would argue that the planning is actually the hardest part.

Planning requires extensive executive function. It requires attention, follow through, initiation, and is particularly heavy on working memory. Bottom line: it’s really hard for us. So, mostly we try to avoid it. We might…

  • Try to pack at the last minute without a packing list,

  • Write a long paper without making any sort of outline,

  • Go to the grocery store without a shopping list,

  • Start a home improvement project without figuring out time, materials, and tools,

  • Or promise an outcome without thinking about how we’ll achieve it.

But, even though it is hard for us to do the planning, it can be done. And it usually results in better results and lower stress. I suggest taking a deep breath and sitting down and making a detailed written plan well enough in advance that there isn’t substantial pressure. Identify action steps. Estimate how long they will take. Plan when and how those steps will be achieved to build toward the desired result.

As one example in my life, I’ve built a huge suburban garden over the past 4 years that consists of 13 raised bed of various sized, a fence row of sunflowers, 12 fruit and nut trees, 4 window boxes, grape trellises, and several herb planters. Sounds overwhelming, right. At times it was. But every time I got overwhelmed, I’d (take an ativan, work out, or meditate, and…) make a plan!

I don’t have any big building or improvement projects for the garden this year. But, I’ve got to get my seeds planted at the right times so that everything is ready to go outside at the optimal time of year to optimize my harvest. Check out the pics of my seeds that I planted today and the detailed map and list that I generated first so I know what and how much to plant.

By the way, the planning doesn’t always yield perfection. I planned the crap out of last year, including a color-coded spreadsheet. And, it was not a good year. But, some of that was out of my hands. Lots of it constituted learning opportunities. However, I can promise that it would not have gone as well as it did without the plan. And, my planning “muscle” is stronger this year. No spreadsheet. Less time. Better plan. If the weather and the animals cooperate, I’m anticipating a wonderful year.

Whatever it is you sew, happy planting… and planning.

Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.

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