Planning for the Unexpected

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One of the central themes I think all entrepreneurs can agree on, (no matter what the industry) is that the ‘unexpected’ is inevitable.  Change happens whether it is a slight interruption of your day, (“Can we change our appointment to Tuesday?”), or a money draining, time consuming printing error.

As an entrepreneur who talks about (and advocates) for planning, people often ask me why they should bother planning when it is just going to change anyways. For those of you who may ask the same question or could use a little planning inspiration, the following is how (and why) I think you should do it anyways.

Planning creates momentum. When you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), you are taking an action step – even if it is just getting an idea out of your mind. This momentum is often the thing that you need when those unexpected things arise. To use an analogy, it would be like a long distance runner who just pulled a muscle at the last mile of a race. Having all of that hard work, training and road behind him – a pulled muscle is not going to prevent him from crossing the finish line.  He (or she) has momentum and that counts for something.

Planning naturally reveals priorities. Looking at your current calendar/day timer – even a stranger could tell what you are putting your most time and energy towards. Priorities, whether family, work or your physical well-being will always ‘rise to the top’ and can handle a some unexpected circumstances because they matter that much to you. Have some confidence that if the unexpected happens, the things that matter the most to you will still get done.

Lastly, you can plan for the unexpected by giving yourself pre-determined flex time. No, you can’t say for sure what will end up taking that time. But, if your priorities are set and you still give time for things that you don’t expect, it does not have to be a stressor in your life. Even the great Tony Robbins is famously quoted saying “ …if you schedule it, it’s real”. That is why I suggest not packing your schedule so tight that one thing ‘not going right’, could negatively affect the rest of your day – and maybe even your week.

Having a mindset that ‘expects the unexpected’, as well as having the principles we have talked about in this article built in to your entrepreneurial habits will certainly help along your journey. So remember: Get your ideas out, plan for flex time and keep your priorities non-negotiable. Then plan on success.

Tamara is the owner and designer at ‘Your Pretty Pages’ where she provides templates, planners, guides and resources for creative entrepreneurs to get organized and plan productively and purposefully. To see her newest Essentials Pack of planning pages visit here:


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