I love to be prepared. I am the person who has Band-Aids, a multi-tool screwdriver, and a flashlight in my bag just in case I need to MacGyver my way out of a locked building. It is no secret to anyone who knows me that I always need to anticipate the outcome before a situation arises. I prepare for all the possibilities that can come from my actions, both professional and personal (I am aware that parenthood will be my life’s greatest challenge). However, as I grow both professionally and personally I find myself trying different ways to combat my desire to control and analyze.
Now don’t get me wrong, this is not to say I will never plan but rather find ways to manage my insatiable need to always be ready. So here are a few tips on how to stay sane if you are an over thinker like I am.
Make your plans flexible but firm
At work, I live by my calendar, however, life is messy. I make my plans but keep time open in the day for those unanticipated moments. A manager once told me, “When your day starts, the best thing to do is roll with it.” This works in my personal life too, especially when I have a free day or a vacation. I like to keep a list of activities that interest me, but not a schedule. It allows me to answer the “what do you want to do today” question with “Oh, I have a few ideas!”
I have learned that life and work is one part preparation and one part response. When I started my job I wanted to read about each company or look at notes from others who had called before me. I was so obsessed with making sure that I was prepared to make a call, that it was hindering my success. I was advised to stop thinking, pick up the phone, ask your questions, and let the responses do the work for you. No need to over think it or over research; the worst that can happen is you’re told no or “accidentally” disconnected.
In life, I find that it is even harder to plan because there are so many different variables. My approach is to have a few goals I want to accomplish for that week and find the time when I can. If I get them done, I can celebrate, and if not, there is always next week.
Have fun and stay positive
This sounds cliché but for a long time I believed if you had too much fun you were not being productive. This is not to say that every day is a party, but if you take a positive approach to your work and life you would be surprised that you plan a little less and live a little more.
What strategies do you use to let loose of the reigns a little bit in either your professional or personal life? Share in the comments below!
Natalie joined Celebrity Staff in January of 2016 and is a graduate of the University of South Florida. She moved to the Omaha area in the summer of 2014 and has survived three winters in the Great Plains. Natalie’s experience includes managing corporate/student programs before working as an outside sales representative. Natalie enjoys using her prior experience with new purpose in helping connect employers to great people.