Keep it simple because simple gets more done and leaves more room for negotiation.
If you have talked to me, listened to me, or read anything in the last few weeks that I have written, you may have noticed that things have been CRAZY. The chaos of the moment felt worse for me because I had just hit a groove for getting it all done.
Okay, not exactly a groove. I had made the plan and I had worked the plan for two whole days. It was progress, and I was motivated for more.
I’ve said it before, and it seems to hold true. Every time I get it all together, someone goes and moves the middle.
My middle shifted and I had to go with the flow because it was LITERALLY all I could do.
It’s been six weeks of flowing, and I have made it through two hospitals stays, a crushed back deck, a birthday, and a holiday.
Thanksgiving taught me a HUGE lesson – one I tend to forget when I am busy trying to get my ducks back in a row. The simple truth is that ducks aren’t supposed to BE in a row and every time I invest my energy in trying to get them there I waste that energy, get frustrated, and lose the focus for doing what I can do.
Simple Tips I Learned from Thanksgiving
- Count the cost. Maybe you have heard this before, but there is going to be a cost. Before you launch into doing something, take a moment to count the cost. For Thanksgiving, this meant creating an hour by hour cooking plan so I knew what to put in, where to put it, and what space it would take up. I adjusted my schedule or my menu to make it all work.
- Plan and then plan to be flexible in the plan. Things happen or things come up. Instead of throwing the whole plan away, adjust a little. For me, it looked like a chocolate pie and a peanut butter pie that became a no-bake peanut butter pie and a Reese’s no-bake pie. Similar flavors. Similar textures. Instead of messing up extra pans and taking up extra space to cook the fillings, I went with the no-bake varieties.
- Be willing to let things go. The best plan will have a little extra padding in it – just in case. As things move along and the plan proceeds, it is okay to let those extras go to make way for other things in the plan or to just help accomplish the plan a little faster. For me, this meant I did away with the stuffed mushrooms. I’ll use the mushrooms in other dishes this week so they won’t go to waste. There were more than enough sides that the mushrooms weren’t even missed – even by me (who I was really making them for in the first place).
- Take time to enjoy along the way. It can’t be all about the finish line. You need to have fun. You need to experience the steps in the journey. You need to smile. For me, I had fun cooking with my son. I enjoyed the chance to try new recipes and new ways to cook old recipes. I even had fun challenging myself to clean up along the way (a HUGE win for me because I HATE doing dishes).
It was a simple plan. It was set up with simple steps so that anyone could see what was next and could join in if they wanted. And it was simple enough that it could adjust as we went along.
The best plan is not so complex that it takes more time to explain then it does to implement. The best plan is plain and simple.
Keep it simple silly – that one thought will take you a long ways towards getting to where you want to go.