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Tips for Living: 5 Lessons From The Planner Friend

We've spent a lot of time recently thinking about what it means to be "the planner friend". On one hand, you're the friend who gets it done, who brings groups of people together, who crosses things off the to do list. On the other hand, you're the friend always on edge trying to shuffle people out the door on time, always feeling burnt out + spread thin and always wondering if your friendships are reciprocated or if people just keep hanging out with you because you keep inviting them to. We've been "the planner friend" for our entire lives - the Type A, think of every detail, schedule to a T, non-stop go, pencil-in time to eat 3 meals a day friend and we have a few major takeaways - both for those people that consider themselves the planner friend, as well as those that don't.

Lesson 1: Plans Change

There's a reason that the saying "the best laid plans often go awry" exists and it's because no amount of planning can predict the unpredictable.

  • For our planner friends - keep this in mind as you make plans and be sure to bake in flexibility where you can. Just the same, try not to get too attached to any plans as you make them and when all else fails, remember that there are a million different ways for plans to unfold and just as many ways for them to be enjoyed. Rescheduling, cancelling, and shifting things around are just part of the bigger picture that comes with living life to the fullest - embrace it instead of fearing it, after all, the best plans are often the unplanned.

  • For our go with the flow friends - keep in mind that even though you're not the one handling it, there's a lot of back-end + logistical work that goes into making even the most seemingly "easy" plans happen. Do what you can to work with the plan maker, rather than against them. Provide your availability, let them know when scheduling conflicts come up as soon as you can rather than waiting for the last minute, and try to be on time.

Lesson 2: Time is Money

Time is the most valuable resource on Earth and the only one that we all have the same amount of. No one's time is more valuable than anyone else's + considering this when making plans is a critical component to a successful experience for everyone.

  • For our planner friends - know your audience and consider how their time will be most enjoyed. No one wants to be rushed from one spot to the next with little to no time to actually enjoy their experience, and sometimes it's easier to underplan than it is to overplan with this in mind. If you're planning around friends who are always late or have no concept of time, work with them rather than against them by shifting the times you give them by 30+ minutes sooner to allow for lateness, and build in large blocks in between stops rather than back to back, time-sensitize blocks.

  • For our go with the flow friends - Do your best to be on time, especially when you're typically not. It's a tough look when a group of people is all waiting for one person, and there's no better way to say "I don't value your time or respect you as a person" than to constantly have people waiting on you. At the same time, communication is key, if you're running late most reservations can be changed and most plans can be adapted, but only if they have the chance to be.

Lesson 3: Commitment Issues

Committing to anything can be difficult, but committing to plans is often too difficult for most people, especially when there's money involved.

  • For our planner friends - the paradox of choice is a very real thing. When involving others' opinions and schedules, try to minimize the choices that you give them to choose from to 2-3 options. Sometimes it's best to make a plan and share it with people after the fact as opposed to involving them at every step of the way (circumstantial of course) - those who are willing + able will attend, and those are won't, won't. Be mindful of people's budgets + refrain from scheduling anything non-refundable when possible.

  • For our go with the flow friends - if you're calendar is open on the date someone is asking to make plans for something that you're interested in doing, even if it's weeks out, just say yes and jot it down, rather than leaving the plans open "just in case". Again, most things can be adaptable and changed but the longer that it's waited to book things, the more expensive and binding they may be. If you don't already, consider using a planner to jot down plans as they come that way it's clear to see if your calendar is open or not and what else you might have going on.

Lesson 4: What Works For You, Won't Work For Everyone (And That's Perfectly Fine)

Your way is not the only way to do things and through challenging ourselves, comes growth.

  • For both our planner friends + our go with the flow friends - it can be difficult working with people with different personality types and often it can be frustrating when it feels like your personal "flaws" are cause for plans not going smoothly. The beautiful part of it all is that through trying new things + new ways of doing things, you can discover more about yourself. It can often feel like just because we do something differently than someone else, our way may be seen as "wrong", when in reality, it's just different, and "different" should be celebrated. Challenge yourself to see things from a different perspective when faced with clashes.

Lesson 5: Balance

Ying wouldn't work without its Yang

  • For both our planner friends + our go with the flow friends - you can (and should) learn something from one another. It's all about balance and we need each other to get to where we're going. Planner friends need their go with the flow friends to bring them back down to Earth sometimes, and help them keep in mind that the most important thing is the company we keep, not the plans that we make. Just the same, go with the flow friends need their planner friends to keep them moving + grooving and making memories to last a lifetime. We wouldn't have half of the experiences that we've had from on our Master Guide without the balance of the planner friends + go with the flow friends coming together as one to put a little disco in the details.

All this to be said, we hope that whether you're the planner friend or the go with the flow friend, you're able to take something away from these lessons. If you're someone who is looking to get more organized, or even just switch up the way that you currently organize your schedule, we've put together our favorite planning mechanism to share with you. We've tried many many MANY different methods of organizing through the years, and we've found that this daily, monthly + yearly planner works best for us. The Google Sheets format gives easy access to edit on the go, from anywhere that you have internet access, and it's equally as easy to share with others when trying to coordinate schedules. We love how easy it is to color code, move plans around, hide old months, etc. without need for over complication. The format that we shared here is the most simple version of it, but in our own planner, we use additional tabs for things like budget, grocery shopping + planning, travel itineraries, etc. - if that's something of interest to you, let us know and we can share! Additionally, we're happy to share this resource with you free of charge just for being a Disco Frank reader, so please reach out to us with your email if you'd like us to send it over. As always, keep putting a little disco in the details of your life.


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