Are you a planner or are you spontaneous? Do you like to plan everything out with family and friends or are you more the let’s do things as we think of them sort of person? You might be somewhere in the middle, planning some things and running with others when the mood takes you. You might plan your work meticulously but be more flexible with your social life.

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Are you a Planner or are you Spontaneous?

A problem can arise when the closest people in our lives and the ones we spend the most time with are the complete opposite of ourselves. In these situations, we might find ourselves experiencing frustration with each other.

Recently I had an interesting interaction with two of my friends. One was insisting I plan a night out at the movies a week ahead and the other was non-committal about whether he was available to catch up in two hours’ time.

One was a planner, the other not so much.

So what is the best way to spend time with people who are die-hard planners, opposed to those who like to wing it on the spare of the moment?

Your reaction to that question comes back to which camp you generally fit into yourself.

Are you a planner or do you thrive on spontaneity?

At the moment, I tend to be more of a planner, mainly because I’m on a budget and budgeting can involve a bit of preparation and planning.

Being spontaneous can sometimes blow your budget out of the water.

I also tend to plan things around what needs to be done on the blog. Since I write on Saturday and I’m not sure how tired or fired up I will be by Saturday night, I tend to keep my plans open. If I’m exhausted and want to crash on the couch I can or I can head out with friends.

The problem, of course, is trying to find friends who are available at short notice on a Saturday night! They’ve all planned their weekends so it’s not always possible to meet up with someone.

So what is the best way of dealing with the planners and the ones who do things on the fly? Let’s dive in.

Dealing with planners

It makes sense that with a planner you might have to work in with their way of thinking by well…planning.

No big shock there I’m sure.

If you need a little more flexibility in your scheduling, tell the planner you will let them know a bit later during the week/month or year (depending on how far out they are planning ahead).

And yes, they do sometimes plan that far ahead!

Whatever you do, don’t give the impression that you are waiting to see if you get a better offer, no one likes this sort of behavior. Bear in mind the planner may make plans with other people by the time you get back to them. Planners like to have their schedules booked, so you might miss out! If you delay getting back to them, you are going to have to be cool with that.

If you are planning way ahead to fit in with someone else, make sure you write down somewhere, whether you use an online calendar or a hard copy diary, what you will be doing when. Otherwise, you might forget or worse double book yourself.

Traveling with a planner can be particularly interesting.

Frankly, if you are a spontaneous person, I wouldn’t go on a holiday for an extended period of time with a planner, especially if it’s just the two of you. There’s a good possibility that you might drive each other nuts. You could be loving a particular city and want to stick around but you have to move on because your traveling companion has booked every night of your trip in advance!

A better idea might be to travel in a large group where you know people will branch off and do their own thing.

If you do travel with a person or group that loves to plan, make it crystal clear (and make sure they are okay with it) that you don’t have to participate in all group activities.

Make sure this is said upfront before you go on your holiday. Nothing can ruin a vacation quicker than hurt feelings and people being ticked off with you (and you with them).

Dealing with spontaneous people

Spontaneous people are often keen on popping in for a visit.

If your spontaneous friend or family member constantly popping in unannounced and uninvited is bugging the hell out of you, it’s best to let them know, very politely that you would appreciate if they could give you some notice before coming over. Be polite but firm. To be honest, they will probably be a bit miffed at first but hopefully, they will recover and move on.

Perhaps you could compromise and suggest a particular time or day they pop in that works better for you?

If your family and friends are being a tad too spontaneous for your liking, constantly scheduling gatherings without any notice, ask them (again very politely) if they could give you more notice next time. If they want your company at their event, I’m sure they will be only too willing to give you the extra notice if they can.

Understand that people might not always be able to give you the notice you would like.

Spontaneity can also be incredibly fun, so make sure you jump at exciting things when you get the opportunity.

Related posts – 

If you are working with someone spontaneous it could be both a blessing and a curse. If you know for a fact, that they leave projects to the last minute and you are waiting on work from them, give them a gentle reminder as the deadline approaches, to help them stay on track.

While it can be helpful to know what your preferred way of operating is – it is important that we don’t pigeonhole ourselves into one slot.

Happiness and good health are all about balance. Too much one-sidedness on either camp can leave you feeling stressed, frustrated, or simply worn out.

Everyone has busy lives and finding time to spend with loved ones can sometimes be a challenge regardless of whether they are a planner or spontaneous. Do your best to work with other people’s preferences without compromising your own happiness.

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