6 Tips for Planning in Times of Uncertainty

5 Feb 2021 United Kingdom



This past year has definitely been tricky and trying to plan for exciting projects has been difficult. We've all had to change our plans, putting things on the back burner until this uncertainty passes. The start of a new year usually came with a new want to set goals, get organised and start working towards these goals but it doesn't seem as straightforward for 2021. After last year, no one really wants to set such big goals to be disappointed later down the line again. But, it doesn't mean that you can't still progress! Here I've put together a few tips for how I've adapted my goals to plan for the uncertainty to keep me motivated working towards my goals! 


1. Don't panic! 

Right now, we're all in the same boat. Plans have been put on hold, personal deadlines changes or projects scrapped. If you're feeling lost, unmotivated, stressed for the work your future self will have to pick up when things are more certain, find comfort in the fact that we're all feeling the same! Don't pressure yourself into staying productive, don't worry that things haven't gone as you originally planned and let's get cracking on a new plan! 

2. Focus on what you know and can control

You've got something big you planned but right now there are things you can't do? Worry about those later. Focus on what you can do in the present and take little steps to complete tasks you can do with what you currently have access to. What can you do while you're stuck at home? Is there some progress you can make that you'll thank yourself later for doing? For me, it's given me time to create a routine, write a list of what I need to do and break it down into what I can do now and what will have to wait. Organise your projects and plan more diligently for what you can do now and prep for what you can do next. 

3. Create flexible goals

If you're like me and you work towards personal deadlines and smaller milestones, this is definitely more difficult to stick to right now and it isn't as black and white as I would like. Give yourself a buffer of time to be more lenient with deadlines and can factor in some of the things that may be out of your control. 

Don't be too hard on yourself and too strict with your deadlines. In uncertain times, no one knows what will happen next so be flexible in adapting your plans, postponing tasks and changing your priorities where necessary. 

4. Have a backup plan 

If it turns out that you hit a dead end, there's nothing more you can do in the current circumstances, is there a workaround? Take a step back and remind yourself of what you watn to accomplish and see if you can find another way of completing your goal this year. Or, accept that this goal is unrealistic right now, is there something else you can work towards that will still be beneficial to you in the future? 

5. Factor in the restraints where possible

Things are moving slower, we can't travel right now, we're working from home - just a few examples of the blockers that may affect the goals your reaching for. Being aware of these can help highlight where you might run into some delays this year. Some we may be unaware of right now which is why being flexible will help you stay on track and not feeling overwhelmed. 

Br realistic with what you can accomplish in the current climate and also know your own limits! Remember to take time for yourself to stop you becoming stress when a blocker does come your way. 

6. Look further into the future

Personally, I'm seeing this year as a progress year rather than one where I'm hitting goals. I'm focussing on making some small steps towards my goals to relieve some pressure but also looking way more broadly at the bigger picture; where are my goals leading me, am I setting the right goals to reach where I want to? 

Reflect on what you've accomplished so far, where you want to go next and then plan for how you get there. It will never be that simple but it's definitely a start! 

Thanks for reading, 
Sarah x

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