The “anti-plan” plan. How to get things done when you can’t make a plan (or just don’t want to)

how to plan when you don't want to plan
Last week I wrote about how I tend to make detailed plans.

Detailed plans are usually necessary for me, since I have so many projects on the go at once, plus I have all of the regular tasks of running a business by myself. Having a thoughtful and organised plan helps me get more done with less effort - every time I sit down to work I don't waste time figuring out where I'm at and what really needs to be done, because it's all right there in my project management software.

But some projects don't need that kind of planning.

Some projects have so many unknowns that making a plan is kind of ridiculous. And sometimes you just don't feel like planning. But you still want to do move forward with your creative projects!

Introducing the anti-plan creative project plan.

This is the planning approach I use when I'm doing something I've never done before and have no clue how to make it happen so really can't make a plan.

First you ask yourself how much time you can devote to your project. An hour a week? Ten minutes a day? A day a month? Two evenings a week?

Doesn't matter how much or how little, just write down how much time you can (and will!) devote to your project.

If you use a daytimer then schedule this "creative project time" into it. If you don't use a daytimer write this down on a sheet of paper and leave it where you'll see it, to remind yourself of your commitment.

Or set up reminders on your phone - whatever is going to work for you so you don't forget that you're doing this.

Then: spend time with your project.

When you get to this time in your schedule while you have allocated to your creative project, work on your project:

  • If you're inspired to do something specific - do that. Don't worry about the finished project and how all the different parts will need to come together - just create forward movement by doing what you are inspired to do in the moment.
  • If you have a bunch of ideas of what you could do and aren't sure what to do to - list them then do the one that feels the easiest or most fun to start in the time you have allotted to it.

ALL that matters is that you're doing something.

But what if you're stuck?

Well, the aim is to spend time with your project.

Actually working on it is usually the ideal way to spend time with your project - but not always.

There are lots of other fun ways to spend time with your project, like:

  • Writing a love letter to it.
  • Creating a vision board (or page in your journal) of your completed project.
  • Writing about why you want to do this project and what you hope will change once you've done it.
  • Writing out all of the questions you have about the project.
  • Doing the practice that I teach in my free class to connect with the essence of your project or just meditating on your project
  • Visualize your completed project and really get into how you're going to feel while you're creating it.
  • Research! Find out how other people have made similar things happen.  Explore what all of your options are.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Your devotion to your project will turn into creative momentum if you keep showing up and hanging out with it. Spending time with your project, even when it's not "productive work time", is vital.

Working on a creative project is the same as any creative dream - there is this invisible process happening that is much larger and more important than the "real life physical work" part.

By spending time connecting with your project you keep yourself in this process.

It's through this invisible process that you stretch and grow into your project. You become the person who can make this happen through this process - you don't start out already as that person.

And you certainly can't WAIT to become that person first!

If you feel inspired to do something that means you're ready to begin this process NOW. You're ready. Go hang out with your project and see what happens...

And if you want to explore more about making your creative projects HAPPEN?

dream plan kit

I've got a full Dream Plan Kit including a 2 hour Creative Planning + Project Management class in the Creative Dream Circle.