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Planning & Schedule Management

Unlocking Success: The Power of Planning, Scheduling, Plus Two Other Elements

By February 18, 2024February 20th, 20248 Comments

Isn’t it true that we all want success. We want to accomplish our goals – no matter how big or small. Everyone, even children, wants to be successful.  It’s a good feeling to know that at the end of the day, week, month, or year that the thing or things you have set out to do are done. The simplest way to do this is to embrace planning and scheduling. But these are not the only things you need to do. Read on to learn about two other elements which are critical for unlocking success.

What do planning and scheduling do for you?

Planning and scheduling provide structure

Planning and scheduling provide the structure for your time. You may be planning things you want to do over the course of a day, weekend, week, month, quarter, or year. Thinking about factoring these things into your time gives you a framework or a structure within to which to work.

Scheduling assigns a specific day and time to the task.

Of course, you probably know the expression ‘man plans and God laughs’.

We can make all sorts of plans and there is nothing that says these plans will happen, until they do.

Planning gives you flexibility and adaptability

While planning provides structure, it also gives you the gift of flexibility. You can adjust and adapt plans as needed in response to changing circumstances or priorities. There is every reason to expect that life will sometimes present you with bumps in the road. Without a structure or a schedule, you may flounder, doing the next thing that occurs to you, instead of mindfully reorganizing tasks to maximize your available time.

Speaking of time.

Planning and scheduling lead to improved time management skills

Taking time to plan lets you think through the tasks which are important to accomplish. When you do this daily, you focus on what matters most, which helps you avoid wasting time on less important activities.

You improve your time management skills whenever you set aside time to think through your priorities and use your time wisely.

Here’s a little side note, and I hope you take this to heart. Using your time wisely also means that you invest time in yourself and schedule time for self-care.

Now you know about the ways in which planning and scheduling are involved in unlocking success it’s time to talk about the remaining two critical elements. They are motivation and activation.

You can plan all day long. In fact, some people get so involved in the planning and scheduling of their tasks they forget to determine why they are making these plans. When they don’t know their reason, it is hard (sometimes impossible) to bring themselves to follow through.


Ask yourself why you want to get these tasks done?

Are they important?

Will there be a consequence if they are not done?

Is there something in it for you if they are done and done well?

What does success look like to you?

Do you have a vision of how you want the day, project, paper, PowerPoint, room, or part of a room to look when you are finished?

Unlocking success requires motivation and action

As you go about your planning and scheduling factor in time to think about and determine your motivation.

When you know what motivates you, it is easier to push yourself into gear and act. Planning and scheduling are passive processes. They are important and necessary to unlock success. But you can plan the steps of a project, schedule the steps into your calendar, and then ignore your plans if you don’t have a clear sense of why you are doing these things.

Planning and scheduling are brain work. Pushing yourself to get the necessary information or physical tools to complete each step of a project is a different kind of work. It can be scary. But with an understanding of your motivation, you can push yourself into action.

Use positive self-talk and remind yourself why these actions are important for you to take.


Consider this. Every forward step you take is a little bit of success inching you toward your goal. The more success you have, the more motivated you become. Use these four powerful keys: planning, scheduling, motivation, and action to unlock success.

Schedule a free 30-minute phone consultation with me to find out more about how using these tools can help you be more organized, efficient, and productive.

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® ,a Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release●Repurpose●Reorganize, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. She specializes in working with people affected by ADHD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization.


  • Julie Bestry says:

    Such excellent points. So many people (ahem, dudes) in the productivity field talk about planning and scheduling, and neglect the concepts of motivation and action. Dudes also leave out all the stuff that creates obstacles between motivation and action, and how planning needs to keep those obstacles in mind. Eisenhower once said, “In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” And that dovetails with what you said about man planning and G-d laughing. Without the plan we have no way to start; we’d just be chasing our tails. But it takes all four of the elements you describe to actually make it to the finish line! Great concepts!

  • Jill Katz says:

    I love how you specified these 4 important steps. People often come to us organizers because they have the motivation but lack the scheduling and planning part, thus no action. I think the “planners” often forget to question the motivation behind their actions. I know I sometimes get too caught up in my to do lists. I also find that motivation helps you get started but you can lose it very quickly which is why it’s important to write down your goals. Some people even need a visual to help sustain motivation. I

  • Ahhh. All of the points you made contribute to successfully reaching your goals. If you leave one element out, progress can stall or become unfocused. I love that you said, “Planning and scheduling are brain work.” That’s so true. And they are essential. However, it’s possible to get so bogged down in the planning process you never move to the action/doing phase. Knowing why you want to accomplish something is also important to figure out. Because when motivation wanes, you can return to your “why” or “driver” to keep you going.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thank you, Linda. I believe all these things are important to include when you’re trying to figure out how to get something done.

  • Seana+Turner says:

    I’m a big believer in planning and scheduling. If I want to make myself do something, I schedule it in my planner on a specific day. There is something a out seeing it on the list that makes me follow through. So for me, scheduling is motivating. However, I acknowledge that not everyone is this way. Motivation can be hard to find, so sometimes, it is just about taking that action, whether feel motivated or not.

    I’ve been working on to try and strengthen my muscles. I’m old enough that this isn’t for looks, but for health. Rather than being motivated by a specific result, my goal it to keep showing up. That is the win. I downloaded a habit tracker to give myself an extra nudge. So far, so good!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Love it, Seana! I’m with you – I write something down and it gets done but I am very aware that this is not the case for most of my clients. I am also exercising almost everyday not so much for looks but because I want to be physically able to run and play with my grandchildren!

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