Teachers in Business

How to Plan without OVER-Planning

June 08, 2021 Sara Torpey Season 1 Episode 29
Teachers in Business
How to Plan without OVER-Planning
Show Notes Transcript

One of the MOST common issues teachers in the business world face is that we PLANNERS.

In the teaching world, we plan weeks (months!) in advance, and have a clear path of what's going to happen when from the start of the year to the end. In the business world, planning FEELS productive. 

It's laying out all the details and the steps and the flows - it's AMAZING. 

But in so many cases this is OVER planning rather than planning - and there is a BIG difference. OVER planning is planning for perfect. 

It's planning from FEAR and need to control rather than just planning and then DOING. 

On this episode of Teachers in Business I'm laying out the differences between planning and OVER planning. 

Then, I'm sharing 3 SIMPLE strategies to plan effectively (without OVER planning OR ditching plans all together!) 

Welcome, welcome.


Welcome to Episode 29. Friends, I'm so glad you're here. So this week we are talking about planning. You know, planning is every teacher's favorite part, right? Here's the thing. It is really, really common. One of the things I see so often in my teacher friends and clients is wanting to have a plan. And over planning, because over planning is entirely possible.


This is normal, right? Like as teachers, we are used to a world where, in September, you kind of know what's happening most weeks give or take, you know, snow days and assemblies and whatever happens in between, you have an outline for what's going to happen, most days, weeks, months of the year, all the way through the end, like you have a pace, essentially, you have a plan, you know what's coming next all the time. That doesn't mean that you're not planning day to day, but you have this larger picture. And that feels really comforting. In in the business world, we try to recreate that. And it doesn't go the same way. So what happens is we plan and it feels really productive. And it feels so productive that we just keep planning, right? That we work on the flows and the problems we might have and looking for the word in my notes because I can't come up with it right now. It's steps, that's the word I couldn't find the steps in the flows. And we plan we plan and we plan and we don't ever do. So this week on the podcast, we're going to talk about the difference between planning and over planning and how to recognize where you are. And then some simple strategies for really hitting the middle ground. Where over planning is on one side, no plan at all is on the other. And having an effective plan is really the middle is like the sort of ideal spot. Before we go into that today, I want to talk a little bit about client wins. Because last week was super fun. And things are dinging I can't make it stop.


So last week, I had two clients do really amazing things that I'm super happy for them for they one client so I have a client who at the start of the year wanted to start bidding out bigger jobs, she decided that instead of doing smaller projects, lots of smaller projects, that her focus was going to be on doing larger scale jobs and really changing the scale of the work she was doing. And that has been her intention since the start of 2021. And we're here now in June. And so she set a quarterly goal of $25,000. So she make $100,000 at the end of the year, which is great. And first quarter went pretty well. And as she's been really intentionally talking about the kinds of work she wants to do, and really talking ahead of that kind of work, right? Suddenly, that work is coming towards her Go figure. And one of the things that happened to her right at the end of May, is she had ended up with a handful of contracts signed, that almost equaled her quarterly goal over the course of like five or six actual days, which is amazing. So what that means for her is her quarterly goal has now become her monthly goal. And that's super fun. So I'm super excited for that one. And then another client at the end of last week had a really you know, I didn't actually realize what a big win it was until I sat down and was thinking about this morning for her. One of the things that she is we all as teachers as business people want to control the process, right? We want to sort of like grab it by the hand and take it with us. Some of us you know are more go with the flow humans than others. And some of us want to control like hold on to the front of the roller coaster and drive it. This particular client is more of a roller coaster driver and it serves her really well. But one of the things that happens in her business is once it heads into summer every year because she works with school aged kids. Summer really shifts and it's makes her nervous and This year, what's happening is she's just at peace with it. She's allowing it to unfold and knows that it's going to work out the way it's supposed to work out, she knows that she knows how to create business, she knows she also wants a bit of a break this summer. And she knows it's going to unfold the way it's meant to unfold and that like nothing's going to go wrong. And it's amazing to watch, just to let her to see her allowing that release is fabulous. And I you know, it's been something we've talked about for a long time. But can you imagine in your business, not like wringing your hands over the next couple of months, especially if you work with kids or schools, and not being like super freaked out about whatever the next change is, and just knowing that it's gonna work like that's an amazing place to be. And then before we get into like meat of the podcast, I what I want to remind you of is, I'm running a challenge next week over email, called selling without salesy, and it is all about selling without feeling slimy, or spammy, or Facebook messaging people out of the blue in the cold, it is all about selling in a way that feels really comfortable, and therefore is really effective. And so what how it's gonna work is you sign up on the email list, I can, I'm going to put the link in the show notes, you sign up on the list. Starting Monday, June 14, you're going to get an email every day with a little video and a couple of things to do. And then you'll go on to the next day, and by the end of the week, you're going to feel last leg, oh my gosh, I'm stalking people, Oh, my gosh, this is so slimy, like, selling. And it'll be like, Oh, no,


I know how to do this. I know how to sell things, I feel really good about it. And that's a huge transition. So if you want to be a part of that, and you want to get all the goodness, please just click the link and sign up and join us (link: https://sendfox.com/lp/1xo6k5), it's gonna be super fun. Plus, I've already created four bonuses or five, there's gonna be all kinds of extra goodness free stuff. I love stuff. So today, we're talking about planning versus over planning. So here's the thing, let's talk first about how you know you're over planning, over planning. When you really look at it, what I see it in clients, what I noticed most consistently, consistently, is that over planning comes from wanting to control. Right, it's, it's again, like the one client that I've had that's kind of releasing, it's like trying to drive the roller coaster car, it is trying to plan for every possible thing that could go right or wrong. Assuming they all will go right or wrong in trying to plan for problems you haven't had yet. Trying to solve them in advance. Over planning also looks like a lot of times people say but I don't like I have a plan. But I don't feel great about it yet. I have a plan but it needs more work. I have a plan. But like it doesn't have all the details that should yet that's that's like the over planning control person trying to tell you it's not enough. And in telling you also that until your plan is absolutely 100% complete and perfect, you can't start. And that is the problem with over planning, right? You are never going to have a plan that's 100% complete and perfect. right at the start. It's like not the nature of the game. It would be like in a classroom, having a bunch of students in front of you in thinking like okay, our plan for today is to answer these six problems, these seven questions and finish here. And the first thing the students the first question you ask they have, like never seen anything like in are completely befuddled, like it's like you're like you asked it in in Spanish, and it's a class that only speaks English. You're not going to get where you're going there. Right? And so it is that kind of like but if you still just kept going, because that's the plan and you're super tied to the plan. That's a sign of over planning. Like when people say to me, but it's supposed to work like this. That's a sign of over planning when we're really attached to how it's going to work. And what the steps every single teeny tiny step looks like rather than like okay, where are we trying to get to? Then that says something to me. The other thing about over planning? Is it stopping you from doing. So sometimes over planning is about control. Sometimes it's about fear. Sometimes it's like, you know, because stepping into the unknown, putting plan into action is scary, right? stepping in front of a classroom, for the first time is scary. stepping in front of a new grade, stepping in front of doing something, I can remember the first time I stood up in front of a class in a science lab and like, had to use fire for things. I was like, Oh, my God, this is gonna be ridiculous. So it is natural and normal, and all the things to worry and have doubt and be afraid. But if you let that stop you because the plan isn't perfect, or plan in, in reaction to fear, then you're not getting anywhere. Because unless you put the plan into action, there's there's nothing to be done with it. Right? So there are, from my perspective, three really simple things you can do if you find yourself in this over planning mode. And sometimes here's what happens. People go into over planning mode, and they get so frustrated by it, that they just ditch planning entirely. And they're like, nope, going by the seat of my pants. And sometimes that serves people for a while. But like long term, having no plan also isn't the answer. Right? You have to have something, there's got to be a happy middle here.


So a couple of things, the first strategy for me is always to again and again, even every day, come back to your end result. So if you're planning if you're, you know, just sitting down at your desk in the morning and thinking like what am I trying to accomplish today? What are you trying to accomplish today is not a task list. It's what am I trying to accomplish today? What is the end result I want to create? If you're constantly coming back to the end, and the result you want to create, it makes it a lot easier to to not get stuck in like the wall that I need to plan for that. And that checklist mentality, like I'm going to check these 10 things off that had nothing to do with what I was trying to do. So think of it this way. Like if I wanted to teach students how to divide fractions, sorry, math teacher example. You know, there's a lot of different approaches I can take. And I can think to myself, okay, I want to teach them how to divide fractions, you know, by using by explaining to them what the rule is. If I'm really attached to that process, when kids are drawing pictures, I'm like, What are you doing? You're drawing pictures. We're using the rules today. So when I plan, if I go, I'm always going back to like, wait, wait, wait, what was the point here? The point is, by the end, they want to be able to divide fractions. So then the route to that place, doesn't matter as much. If you're constantly checking in with like, my goal for this week is to assign a new client, my end result for this week is to make five new sales by end result for this week is to meet 10 new people, or make 15 offers or whatever it happens to be, then it doesn't matter how that happens as much. So you don't need to have as detailed a plan. If you're just constantly like, is this getting me closer to my result? Okay, great.


The second strategy that I think is really useful is this idea that I shared with a client recently that I think of as script in ditch.


So, a lot of times we want to like take something new we're doing in scripted out. And then we carry that script with us like it's the Bible. Like it is the the word from on high like it is exactly what we need to do word for word. But it's not because human beings don't like read from script like robot. And if you're carrying around your plan, like this, something's wrong. So what I often encourage clients to do is like, take an hour, sit down script out exactly what you think you're going to say exactly what you want it to look like, what the steps are, do what you need to do and then put it away. Like I've actually had clients that I told they had to throw it out, because they get so attached to that document. So if you find that you're like, you know, you've seen you remember being a new teacher, you've seen the teachers walk around with their plan book, like, clutched in their hands, like reading step by step. If you feel like you write out a plan, and then you're like, clutching it for dear life, it's time to try this script and ditch. So write out your plan, put in all the details, do your thing, put it somewhere, you can't see it in another room upstairs in a drawer, and then don't look at it. I know it sounds counterintuitive. But here's the thing, that plan came out of your brain, and it's still in your brain. But what it allows you to do is sort of release and relax your hands a little bit. And you can come back to it and check it, you know, at the end of the week. But if it's every 10 minutes, you're it's too tight or holding too tight. It's like, it's like a life preserver instead of a plan. And you don't need a life preserver you hat you know what to do. And that is the key here, right? know that it is all already in you and your plan isn't the thing, you are the thing. You are the person that knows how to do this. And then the last thing is, is a strategy. But for me, it's we've talked about all of these sort of overlap. The last thing is focusing on the outcome versus the path. And this is a little what we talked about with beginning with the end in mind.


But this idea that am I really tied to this path I'm on right now. Is that helping me? So like in the fraction example, if I was really tied to teaching kids the rule, and they were really confused by it, it's important for me as a teacher to step back and go Hmm, is this vehicle this, this mode of teaching them this information, actually serving them in my outcome? Maybe not. So I think a lot of times as, like the different ways to teach something, or the different ways to sell something, or the different ways to talk to people as like cars in my garage. And it's like, Okay, well, it's pouring rain today. And it's really muddy outside. And I was thinking of driving the convertible. Maybe that's not a good choice today. But like, I can decide I'm really attached to drive the convertible and go drive it in the rain. But it's not a good look, right? It's not good for the car. It's not good for me. So it is useful to sort of step back and think like, Am I focused on the result here? Or am I focused on my path? Am I attached to doing it my way, we've all sat in other people's classrooms, or worked with coaches or worked with other people were like, they were so attached to their way that they couldn't get out of their own way. Right. So what am I attached to? Here is a great question. Is it serving me? And then how could it be simpler? Like what are some alternatives that might be simpler than what I'm doing right now? Because sometimes we make a plan, and it's got 46 steps, and all we really needed was to honestly. So it's like, Wait, can I do this more simply? What would this look like? Alright, so those are some simple strategies for getting out of the over planning and into a more effective mode of planning, because we don't want to not play. But we also don't want to get so lost in planning. I have a client, we refer to it as the planning cave. Like we don't want to go sit in the planning cave for a month. That's not helping anyone. The more you do, the more your business grows, you can't grow without doing the things and doing the things involves other humans. So if you're not talking to other humans, it's time to change your plan. So if I can help you at all, as you do this, getting out of the planning game, and into the doing so that you can actually grow your business is one of my specialties. I asked for people out of the planning cave into the sunshine, where like we do things and we we don't die, like we're going to be safe. And we're going to we're going to grow forward by doing things. It's okay we have a plan and then we adjust. We can't adjust the plan if we're not doing if you want to talk about coaching. I would love to talk to you about how you are planning right now and how to put those plans into action and where you want them to take you. I'd love to help you do that. Send a message you can come from On Facebook or LinkedIn, or you can come to my website which is torpeycoaching.com and book a time for us to talk there. I can't wait to talk to you. I look forward to it. And I'll see you all next week. Bye.