David Gillick – Why Planning is the key to life

David Gillick explains how planning helped him to focus after his Athletics career.

During my athletics career, I loved a good plan. Every week, month, year and four-year cycle was mapped out.

My diet, training, sleep was all planned and measured, I loved the detail. It gave me great confidence, knowing that I had left no stone unturned in my preparation.

However, when I retired, I simply stopped. I stopped planning completely, not a day, a week nor a year was planned. I thought planning was what I needed to do as an athlete.

Little did I know it had a profound effect on my post athletic life. I struggled to get into a routine, I felt like I was rushing around like a busy fool, spreading myself too thin and not getting things done to the best of my ability, and that included exercise, food and family. I found it hard to get motivated to do any exercise as I had no goal to aim for.

I soon realised the importance of spending a little bit of time planning and prioritising the week ahead. I now use the calendar on my phone and include work life, family life and my exercise routine. I find it has really helped build new routines and set clear objectives, and there is always a nice feeling when you look at the calendar at the end of day or week and you have achieved everything you set out to do.

I don’t go into major detail, but when I look at my calendar on a Monday morning I can clearly see the week ahead.

So now I’ll give myself 20 minutes on a Friday before switching off for the weekend, to plan and prioritise the following week. It has focused my effort, I’m more productive and more importantly I’m firmly present and engaged with my family.

So, if you feel under pressure and you feel there are simply not enough hours in the day perhaps it’s time to “Plan the dive and dive the plan”.

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