When it comes to planning, there tend to be two types of people: those that do and those that don’t, at least to some degree.
But when you start to think about it, planning isn’t just about the big picture, it can become a part of so many facets of your life.
Take writing, for instance. There are generally considered to be two schools of thought when it comes to writing a novel: the plotters and the pantsers. Or those that choose to outline their story before they begin writing and those who prefer to open up a blank Word document and see where their imagination takes them.
Then there’s travelling. Traditionally, despite being something of a planner in my everyday life, on holiday it used to be enough to book a hotel and some transport and show up for a week of relaxation. But since my first trip to Iceland, I’ve realised that planning does help you to get the most out of a trip.
I don’t mean that you have to draw up a strict itinerary with every moment accounted for, but it’s useful to do your research before travelling somewhere new. It means you can come up with a list of places you’d like to visit, or decent restaurants where you can eat.
That’s a lesson I’ve learned the hard way. Husband and I don’t tend to plan ahead when it comes to food, and we often find ourselves drifting around at mealtimes, wandering from place to place, looking through the window with a hungry gaze, eyeing the menu and asking each other, “What about here?”
There’s an anxious wait before the other inevitably replies with a disappointed noise and, “I don’t fancy Italian/burgers/Nandos tonight.” So we move on, growing increasingly frustrated with each other, before we end up either at the first place we passed or some chain restaurant that we could visit any night of the week.
A bit of preparation avoids the inevitable squabble and allows us to discover somewhere unique.
Of course, there’s a lot to be said for spontaneity, but it helps if you have a talent for it (sadly, I don’t).
So, are you a planner or a pantser? Have your best moments been spontaneous, or carefully organised?