My Best Self

Why Hyper-Planning is my Number One Coping Strategy

As a general rule of thumb, I am hyper-planner. Lists and then lists of lists, was kind of an organizational strategy I adopted to cope with my ADHD as I got older. When I didn’t have mom and dad to tell me what I needed to do, I had to start developing executive functioning skills for myself. It was a lot of trial an error and for me, early jobs were rough. It really took until my late twenties and early thirties for me to develop a system that works for me. As we’ve gotten into the era of digital assistants and productivity applications, I’ve really come into my own. I am a hyper-planner, because having everything laid out in front of me, helps prevent me from becoming bogged down in distractions and minutia.

But this skill that I cultivated so that I could cope and function in a modern corporate setting has translated into a much larger tool for surviving my life, particularly as an urban homesteader in the Age of Covid.

Everett (the Fella) and I have been working during this time of lock down to prepare for the potential long term effects of a recession. We looked at our finances and decided that we needed to make major changes to improve our ability to weather an economic decline. Our big one is eliminating debt. We came from two completely different schools of thought when it came to credit. I was anti-credit card when we met, he came into our relationship with several. A series of issues like job loss, led to our carrying of some debt. Recently we decided that we needed to tighten our belts and suffer now, so that we can live with more peace of mind later. That’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve been aggressively paying off credit cards since March, and we anticipate that we should be finished by early next year.

What does this all have to do with hyper-planning? A whole lot, to be honest. We had to take the time to look at where we could make changes to afford our aggressive debt removal strategy. Our spreadsheets have gone a long way to helping us do that. This aggressive debt-strategy is our first step in growing the future we want for ourselves. We have big plans for ourselves in the next twelve months. We realize that structure and solid operational strategies are going to be a big part of the success of these plans. Thinking about that future is one of the things that enables us to maintain a reasonably positive outlook in the face of a pandemic that seems never-ending.

We take this “planning for the future” approach to maintaining positive outlook very seriously; like, five year plan seriously. Everett says talking about this future we’re planning gives him the warm fuzzies in the stomach and that’s kind of the goal of this stage of my hyper planning; giving us something to look forward to when things are crummy.

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