Flexibly Rigid




The Importance of an Action Plan with Some Margin



I am an organizer and planner by nature. I like having a clear direction. A system in place to expedite those wonderfully crafted plans. But you know what happens…’life happens’. Once you’ve begun executing those plans, something that you hadn’t included in that masterfully 12140602074_d97538a8fe_odesigned, already fully packed day comes along and just messes up the whole thing.

There are so many things that I want to get done. I struggle through the process of what to do first, what’s most important today, which thing should be at the top of the list.

Just because I’m a planner doesn’t mean that I can’t be flexible, because I can, sometimes maybe too much. It has always been pretty easy for me to make adjustments when something unexpected happens. The problem with this is, getting derailed by distractions makes it hard to stay on task. Then of course that plan, that wonderfully crafted plan, is all messed up. For years I have worked to be better at balancing the plan and flexibility.

You may be on the other side of this coin and have the gift of doing. The ability to make a decision and move on it. You find it frustrating when the unexpected happens and you struggle to deal with it.

The important thing is to understand yourself. What character, personality and gifts you have so you can be prepared in your own way to handle the unexpected.

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Recently I had a day that provides a good example of this. I had scheduled to finish the punch list of one project so that I could move the tool trailer from this project to the next. This next project involved another contractor so the plan was also coordinated with his schedule. Before I even got started doing any work, while backing up to hook up the trailer, I noticed a brake hose on my truck leaking. Of course this was a Friday so my mechanic wouldn’t be available to work on it tomorrow. I called him and he said that if I could get it to him now he could fix it today. So I consider my options…get the truck to the mechanic and not move the trailer or borrow a truck and go ahead with the punch list and move the trailer. I decided to take the truck to get fixed. As it worked out I had already scheduled the truck to go to the mechanic on Monday to have some other things done, so while the truck was at the mechanics he went ahead and did the work that was scheduled for Monday. This allowed me to do the work Monday that I had planned for Friday.


I think that there is a Master Planner at work and it is important for our plans to fit with His; to determine what our priorities are before that scheduling fiasco happens; to figure out who we are and what we want, so we are ready when the unexpected happens. This doesn’t mean that everything will go perfectly, but as we search for clarity and work through each schedule disruption we will get a little closer to being who we were designed to be.

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