Remember back in October when I ditched my editorial calendar? Being my usual organizational freak of nature self, I was very curious to see how this one aspect of my life would function without any planning whatsoever. The results? First, I did not blog for a month. Second, any stress, anxiety or guilt from not blogging went out the window with my plan.
I gave my editorial calendar the middle finger and ended up with a guilt-free creative outlet.
There's no specific science or reason behind it, but freeing myself up from the confines of a schedule — at least within a passion project — did me good. More importantly, the whole experiment really got me thinking about my stance on planning and goal-setting.
This time of year, planning is usually top of mind for me — goals, resolutions and whatever else. I'm bubbling over with big ideas for the New Year, but fighting the urge to block out the next 12 months right away. In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about that over here. It's sort of a default... But does it need to be? Lately, I'm more interested in finding the happy balance between zero forethought and a blacked out calendar.
Obviously I'm not going to apply this "throw shit against the wall" strategy to the rest of my life. The idea puts me into a cold sweat. But I can also see that there isn't just one way to do this. I love the "planner free" approach for a personal blog, but it definitely wouldn't fly in a full-time agency job or a business. I still use an editorial calendar for my business blog — and get pathetically excited when I can map out posts for a new month. Scheduling out projects works just fine, but letting others take a natural flow also works. Different processes for different projects, you know?
Planning will always be my default — I just bought my first Day Designer for goodness' sake. But as it turns out, letting go of a little control can bring an immense amount of joy. Right now, I'm just proud of myself for experimenting. Baby steps, you guys.