Bad Planning: A Cautionary Tale

By Lindsay Bell

Folks, today we bring you a cautionary tale.

A tale about planning. Or not planning, in this case. And also about how planning for your business needs to include some planning of your personal life, and vice versa.

Allow us to set the scene: There sits Lindsay. Haggard. Drawn. Feverish and hacking.

Laptop on lap, she furiously scans and reads and searches and clicks. Desperately in need of inspiration. An idea.

Help, if she’s being honest.

Why, you ask?

Because Lindsay is three days late delivering her blog post. This blog post. Which still isn’t written.

Planning? Who Needs it?

That’s really bad. It’s especially bad because all of the guest bloggers, as well as our team who contribute weekly blog posts, are held to a very high standard.

A standard that one would expect the bloody director of content to adhere to as well!

But Lindsay didn’t plan. She never plans. In fact, she might be the best gosh-darn “non-planner” ever to have been born on this earth.

When she was rushed into hospital to give birth to her son, she didn’t even have a bag packed. True story. And she had nine months to do so.

But anyhow.

Here’s how not planning in your personal life can affect planning in your business.

Plan for the Worst

Lindsay did three things very wrong last week.

  • She didn’t plan on an unexpected (but fantastic!) potential new client opportunity to appear.
  • She didn’t plan on a surprisingly hectic and insanely busy first three days of the week (see above).
  • But most importantly, she didn’t plan on getting sick.

Now, some of you will say “Come on, don’t be so hard on the gal. How can you *plan* on being sick?”

Here’s how: You can plan on being sick when you have the immune system of a gnat, and your husband just spent a week in bed with man-flu. Yeah. That’s pretty much a guarantee right there.

Lindsay also loves working to deadline. That’s a holdover from her years spent doing daily TV production.

It’s a thrill! A kick!! The adrenaline pumps, and you absolutely do your best work!

Except when the proverbial crap hits the fan, life throws you a massive curve ball, and you find yourself slumped over a laptop, red-eyed and sweating, trying hard to remember your own name, let alone write a blog post or finish an assignment.

Bad Personal Planning Affects Your Business

So, how did Lindsay’s lack of personal planning affect business planning?

She required an extension on a deadline, which caused other people’s work to be pushed back.

Because she got sick, her wonderful team had to pick up some of the slack, resulting in, at best, Laura Petrolino doing some creative juggling (which, let’s face it, she probably enjoyed) or, at worst, more work ending up on their plates.

And her blog post was late.

Which isn’t fair to the rest of the team, who work hard to turn their posts in on time, and also affected her fearless leader’s work schedule—which is never good.

Lessons Learned

Has Lindsay learned a valuable lesson this week?

You bet’cher sweet bippy she has! We hope you’ve learned a few things as well. 

Don’t assume that next week is going to run smoothly.

If you’re a person used to working to deadline, don’t be a tool and push too much work too close to your delivery date.

Remember: Crap happens. And if it does, and you unexpectedly can’t deliver, you’ve affected the rest of your team.

Plan for the worst to deliver the best.

When you’re thinking about the week ahead, or even the week after that, instead of feeling smugly on top of everything, think about potential obstacles that might occur.

Ask yourself what you will do if someoneor some thing—throws a wrench into your carefully laid out plans.

And don’t leave too much to chance. Remember, it IS flu season.

Lindsay Bell

Lindsay Bell is the content director at V3 Marketing, and works in Toronto. A former TV producer, she’s a strong advocate of three minutes or less of video content. She has a cool kid, a patient husband, two annoying cats, and Hank Dawge, a Vizsla/Foxhound/moose hybrid. Ok, maybe not moose.

View all posts by Lindsay Bell