Unlock Freedom: Make a Plan

I used to think making a plan was something really old, boring people did. Fun, cool people like myself were spontaneous. And to my mind, planning killed spontaneity.

Click forward twenty years to an older (and hopefully still fun) version of myself and folks, I have learned something. I work better with a plan.

Here's three reasons why:

Plans make things happen.

Planning is the golden gateway to action. It may not sound as romantic as “be carefree,” “wing it,” or “act with wild abandon,” but planning will take you places you never thought you could go. Planning helps you become a finisher.

Plans enable freedom.

I have discovered, plans are a bit like making a budget. It feels restrictive and controlling to have one. However, the opposite is true. When you have a plan (or a budget), you have just unlocked freedom. When you know your constraints and have all the information in front of you, you can use those clear boundaries to be as creative and spontaneous as you want.

When you plan your PhD, you will find a way to be free of your PhD.

Plans are the map to guide your journey.

Maps are useful tools to help you find your way. Your plans (maps) won't always be perfect or feel like you have all the information. That's ok.

You may have to change or adapt your plans (maps) to gain clarity or another perspective. That's ok too.

The useful thing about a map is it will give you a direction. And if you want to finish, having a plan that shows you how to navigate from point A to point B (and so-on) will guide you to finishing your PhD.

All of this sounds simple, yet I also know it takes patience and discipline to slow yourself down into “planning mode” when you might not feel as productive as “writing mode.”

The plan is the action map to freedom.