I have recently put in a lot of effort to start meal planning for the week on Sundays. I haven’t quite made it to meal-prepping, but I do write down what I plan to have for every meal each day and make my grocery run accordingly.
However, this doesn’t always turn out exactly the way I had expected. There are times when friends suggest dinner out or co-workers invite me for an unanticipated lunch.
In these moments, I felt thrown off because I had made a plan and bought exactly the right amount of food (food like yogurt with expiration dates!) and thought I needed to stick very strictly to my plan. The original purpose of the plan was to provide me a guideline, so I wouldn’t go some days eating only chocolate covered almonds for a meal. However, it ended up turning into a binding menu causing me stress and preventing me from enjoying the social aspects of some meals.
Eventually, I gave up on meeting the plan 100% and deviated a little bit. My Thursday lunch still tasted good as a Monday dinner. The funniest thing was, the next week the yogurt was still okay, and nothing had gone bad as a result of me rearranging my plan.
I have to be conscious of this in both my personal and professional life.
I have gotten better about crossing things off my calendar or drawing arrows to other days. If you get locked in on a rigid plan, then you may find it brings more stress than it relieves. I think the most important part of any plan is the content. The time is nice when you can fall back on it but as long as you accomplish the content, the time can change. Don’t force yourself to wait to work on that project until tomorrow if you have time to fill today. Don’t stress if your Monday meeting needs to be pushed to Thursday.
Keep in mind that plans are important but not all plans are meant to be strict, binding contracts. There is freedom in flexibility and slight deviations will not make the entire plan crumble. Being able to make a plan and follow that plan is important – but don’t let the fear of spoiled yogurt lock you into a plan that could very easily be rearranged.
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
About Amanda: Amanda Rickert is a Solutions Consultant Co-Op at Advoco. She works with the Post Implementation team to help customers make the most of their day-to-day EAM use. She has recently been focused on a Business Intelligence software, Birst, which presents data analytics to help customers make informed decisions. Amanda is still learning as a student at Clemson University in Industrial Engineering and applying her studies to her job here at Advoco. She loves working with customers and solving problems to help make someone’s day a little easier!Send her an email!