- 1 Why planning will make you happier?
- 2 The joy of anticipation
- 3 The three generations of planning approaches.
- 4 First-generation: reminders, to-do list, checklist.
- 5 Second generation: planning and preparation.
- 6 Third generation: planning, prioritization, and control.
- 7 Simple Tiny Shifts as a third-generation tool.
Why planning will make you happier?
Michael Fordyce, a psychologist and a pioneer in the field of measurement and empirical intervention of happiness, has identified 14 reasons that distinguish happy people.
- being oriented in the present;
- be more productive by performing meaningful activities;
- planning and capacity to organize.
The organization and planning contribute to the satisfaction of the small results achieved daily and to the pleasant awareness of having made the most of one’s time.
The joy of anticipation
As Shawn Achor argues in his book “The Happiness Advantage”, the anticipation of an activity or moment is often more enjoyable than the activity itself.
It has been scientifically proven that even just waiting to have a laugh (for example before going to see a movie or a comedy show) increases the endorphin level by 27% (American Physiological Society). Placing, even if not in the immediate future, a holiday, a dinner or planning hours dedicated to your hobby can relieve stress and give you an injection of happiness.
That’s why planning can make you happy.
The three generations of planning approaches.
In addition to effective time management, planning is a great ally in the clarification of one’s priorities and activities over which we have real control.
Identifying what really matters to us helps in defining medium and long-term goals.
Automatically, as a sort of natural selection, during the planning of the month, week and day we will give priority to all those activities that bring us closer to our goal.
Stephen Covey illustrates three generations of planning approaches in “First Things First”.
Each generation is the evolution of the previous one.
First-generation: reminders, to-do list, checklist.
The first generation is based on the “reminders”, “to do list” and checklist. Anything that is not completed on the same day is automatically added to the to-do list the next day.
In this generation, it is easy to lose sight of what is important and is more inclined to chase urgency.
So you jump from one activity to another without a real logic, arriving in the evening with the feeling of having done a lot, but of not having concluded anything.
It is without a doubt the methodology that hardly allows to reach an objective.
Second generation: planning and preparation.
Those who live in the second generation love agendas and calendars.
It is aimed at achieving objectives, thanks to the identification of deadlines and the scheduling of appointments and activities.
Even if this process is systematic and can be efficient, one becomes a slave to one’s own calendar.
The planned activities lay down the law and everything that interferes (very often, the normal daily vicissitudes) is seen as an impediment and lived with frustration.
This way of working does not facilitate personal satisfaction and makes us blind to a wider picture of all the spheres of our life: work, relationships, well-being, mind and spirit.
Third generation: planning, prioritization, and control.
Who belongs to the third generation keeps the focus on the goal.
Every activity is part of a far-sighted plan aimed at personal fulfillment and greater productivity, very often in all areas of one’s life.
The important things are those that live according to our vision.
Control is a fundamental phase because it allows us to take stock of the situation and reconnect with our goal.
Is the goal always the same? Are we losing sight of some important aspects? Where are we now compared to where we want to be?
Simple Tiny Shifts as a third-generation tool.
Simple Tiny Shifts Planner creates this path.
- Design your Year: identification of the vision and its objective
- Make it Real and Plan my Year: planning
- Review the Target & Monthly Checkpoints: control