Let me know if this sounds familiar. Your time is never spent “well enough”.

When you are working, you feel guilty that you’re not spending enough time with your family, or friends… and you feel like you’re constantly missing out on fun things because you have to work.

But then, when you ARE with family or friends, you’re thinking about that client that is pleading for your help right now. Maybe they are emailing you on a Saturday with a crisis. Or maybe they are texting you in the evening after hours (or maybe you don’t even have office hours -you are like 7-11 to your clients). Maybe you’re behind, and you feel like you don’t deserve “free time” when you “owe” clients things.

The answer to feeling you are in the right place, at the right time, is developing a plan, and being ABLE to stick to it.

Developing a plan is essential to designing your ideal day. You need to know where you are heading, a roadmap to get there, and a compass to make sure you’re still on track. Having a plan gives you permission to be doing what you are doing, with no regrets.

There is a power in writing things down, and getting them out of your head, and in print. The components to a plan that make them awesome, are essential to your ideal day success. Even if your plan is to do nothing that day, and relax… You will be able to fully relax because you planned for it, and everything else has its place.

Sounds easy enough, we need a plan. So why then, is developing a schedule, and sticking to it, so impossible?

Sometimes having a plan is scary. It’s scary because you have something that you need to adhere to, no matter what life throws at you. And that is really tough. Life throws us curve balls on a regular basis. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are the 3 things keeping you from developing or following a plan:

  • Plans can unravel when things go differently.
  • Plans don’t allow for emotion, feelings, inspiration and motivation.
  • Plans are hard to create in advance when things are always changing or are varied.

Sound familiar? That’s because I have been there. And I finally found what works. The answer is, YOU PLAN FOR THE UNEXPECTED. You plan for the unraveling. You plan for yourself to be un-inspired when you go to work on something. You plan for there being 5 emails of someone needing something right now, when you first check your email. You plan for things to be changing weekly, daily and even hourly. You face the reality that things aren’t ever perfect, and you plan around them, knowing that they will be there.

I want to be totally clear – this is different from a back-up plan. A back-up in plan is in place for IF something goes wrong. What I’m suggesting is a plan for the unexpected WHEN it goes wrong. You assume it will be there (because it will) and there are no freak outs involved. You knew it was coming, so you scheduled it in. You are working on what you need to be working on (putting out a fire) and it won’t affect the rest of your day, or the rest of your schedule.

I’d love to encourage you today to start writing things down and giving them space. Need to take a trip to Disneyland with the family? Block out your schedule and write it down. Tell your clients in advance that you’ll be out of the office, put up an office message, and GO be with your people. Schedule that time to relax and REALLY be present while you’re there. You will quite literally have NO other place to be.


I’m just skimming the surface on the topic of planning here. In the Design Life Project e-course, we are going to go IN DEPTH about EXACTLY how to develop a plan that works WITH the crazy instead of coming undone when the crazy happens. Registration is NOW OPEN, and there are only a few days left of the early bird rate! Grab your spot before it fills up!