Many of us have a love/hate relationship with planning. Some love planning, others love to fly by the seat of their pants.
There is power in both.
It reminds me of the world of improv. As an improv actor, you are making it up as you go but you have prepared beforehand. It makes it a much better show if you have practiced the tools of improv before stepping out on stage.
Where I think improv could help with planning is to bring some of its tenets into your schedule.
One of the most important components of improv is to let go of judgment. It is more important to get out of your head, get onstage, and let the scene unfold vs worry about what to say and try to be funny. The other part of equal importance is presence. You have to be fully present on stage. You have to pay attention to what is right in front of you. You have to be your curiosity and interest with you.
Think about applying this to planning. Give yourself 20-30 minutes of undivided attention to plan/create your day. No distractions. Bring your curiosity and interest to it. What do you most want to achieve or accomplish? Why? How and who do you want to be? Suspend your judgment for that 20-30 minutes and explore what emerges as you plan your day. Be open. Let your imagination and your heart play with your mind. A bit of magic happens when they all come together.
To summarize, here are three steps to enhance your planning with the power of improv:
- Be present. Put your phone on do not disturb. Turn off all notifications. Regard this time as sacred. Take three deep breaths. Honor this time as a space of creation.
- Suspend your judgment. Allow whatever surfaces to surface as you plan your day. Make your response come from your inner wisdom vs. your inner critic. Try this as a default statement: Isn’t that interesting?
- Be curious. Allow yourself to explore how you most want your day to go and how you want to show up throughout the day. As new ideas flow or resistance creeps in, be interested. What do they want to tell you? Where might they lead you? Imagine yourself at the end of the day. Imagine looking back on the day and ask yourself, “How do I want to feel as my day comes to completion?”
Plan your day from that place – the place of creativity, curiosity, presence, power, and imagination. You’re engaging your mind while equipping it with a new set of tools to discover a new way of being. Use the imagination to power your ideas, use your mind to create the steps, use your body to take the actions. All while keeping that connected to your heart and soul.The goal of this is to invite you to dream big and start small. That is where you create rhythm and find harmony.
I encourage you to implement these three steps at the beginning of your work day – before you check your phone, email, the news, social media, etc. Prioritize you and your day. Embrace the power of improv as that is what life ultimately is – improvisation – we are all making it up as we go. The goal is to check in with yourself so you notice what’s working and what isn’t. Then you can make changes so that your life begins to reflect the life you desire more and more. This happens much more quickly when you stop beating yourself up and over analyzing. Simply pay attention with curiosity. Bring your presence to the moment. Because, as author Dan Millman states, the quality of our moments become the quality of our lives.
I’d love to hear how you are choosing to show up today. Send me an email and let me know.
To more ‘in the moment’ moments,