Margo Dill


Are You a Planner or Flying By the Seat of Your Pants?

Is organization and planning in today’s fast-paced world becoming more rare than ever before?  When you ask a busy parent, what are you going to have for dinner? Most will answer: I’ll figure it out at 5.  Wondering what you and your friends should buy a co-worker who is having a baby? Good thing someone is an Amazon Prime member, so the gift can be delivered, gift-wrapped, in two days.

I know for myself I’m often figuring out what I need to do the day of an event or even the day of my surgery (where I wished I would have read the information the night before). I used to be a planner–a big planner–because my thought was that things went better, especially as a mom, if I planned them in advance. But then I got a divorce, and there wasn’t time or energy to be such a planner. So I learned to do a lot by the seat of my pants, and one thing I did learn is. . .we survived. Planning may help, but sometimes, it also causes more stress.

fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pantsRecently, I had a discussion with someone, and here’s what he had to say about a recent business trip, where he was asked to give training with no preparation and fix complicated machinery (which is not his job) in very little time:

I was thinking about this week and how it has been just one ridiculous, crazy adventure after another.  No plans, no preparation, under the gun every single day. And my life has always seemed to be like this…Over the years, I have just learned to shrug it off. I don’t stress over it because I know there is nothing I can do. All I can do is just face it head on and do my best. And every time this week, somehow I made it work. So obviously, the next thought to cross my mind was…What happens when one day we can’t make it all work out? What happens when I fail to figure something out on the fly?

Maybe this has already happened, and I just don’t think about it because I knew it was the best I could do.

How about you? Have you faced situations like this? Do you stress out about them? Do you think they are teaching you coping skills? Do you plan?

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6 thoughts on “Are You a Planner or Flying By the Seat of Your Pants?”

  1. I’m a planner. I have a thoroughly marked up calendar and lists of my lists of things I have to get done, but, of course, sometimes that doesn’t work out and I have to shake it off. Sometimes I can and sometimes that’s really hard. Ultimately I think it’s a good thing, though. I’ll always be a planner, but I strive to be a flexible one.

    1. luvboxerdogs says:

      I like that–a flexible planner. WE could coin a new term. Write a book about it. . . ~Margo

      PS: I think this means you’ve learned some coping skills as we all have, I think.

  2. Pat Wahler says:

    Planner all the way. I envy those who can fly by the seat of their pants, as it makes me extremely uncomfortable to feel unprepared.

    1. luvboxerdogs says:

      I think I used to be like this. But then life got in the way. I’m fairly happy with how I am now–a good balance I think. I also think a little of this comes from being a teacher because you cannot be prepared for everything that will happen. Oh and a mom–she taught me long ago that often my plans would be thrown out the window. ~Margo

  3. Dianna says:

    I fly by the seat of my pants. I accepted a job in Florida 3 weeks ago, spent more than 2 weeks trying to decide if I should actually go through with it, and finally made a decision and got to Florida 48 hours before I was supposed to start, with no place to live and no car. Yep, definitely not a planner.

    1. luvboxerdogs says:

      WOW! Dianna–so are you living full-time in Florida now or is this a temporary job? That is definitely living by the seat of your pants. And maybe that’s the way you have always been, like my friend? And it is working out for you so far. ~Margo

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