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Dandansson
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04 Sep 2021, 3:21 am

Hello there fellow humans!
The art of planning is something that I often struggle with.
Let's say I am going to attend a meeting with only two people (me and tutor or some kind of counselor). I prepare for the meeting and make a list of things to bring up during that 30 min or 60 min meeting. After the meeting I always say to myself: I could not bring up all the things I wrote in the list or that we had to talk about it in another way than I had planned.

Sometimes I leave a meeting feeling satisfied with what happened during the meeting but many times I just get really frustrated. The big frustration I think comes from planning. Sometimes I tell people the art of planning is too difficult as you cannot even plan what will happen during a meeting between two people. You have to plan but also be flexible at the same time. Sounds extremely difficult. I even have the asperger difficulties.
My only solution is to keep planning but be dissapointed or stop planning and let other people plan instead.

How do you people plan before attending a meeting when you cannot see the future (neither can the other person, I guess)?



Fireblossom
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04 Sep 2021, 4:00 am

Oh yeah, I totally know this problem! One can plan things perfectly, but then things can still go wrong due to things out of your control, like weather or other people.

I can't really come up with any advice that would work in all kinds or even most situations, but when it comes to a situation like your example, one way would be to plan only two or three specific subjects you want to talk about on that meeting and make it clear at the very beginning that it'd be important to you to talk about those matters on that day. Then, if there's extra time, you can either let the conversation go where it goes or you could have a not so important subject than the first ones but still one you'd like to discuss if there's time prepared.

Another way for daily plans is that you pick certain important things you must do during the day, but don't pick so many that they'd make a very tight schedule, 'cause if even one of them took longer than you thought, the whole thing would likely be ruined. So, if possible, pick tasks in a way that you can still handle them in the given time window even if they take longer than you thought. Not always possible during work or with school work, but it's relatively easy to manage that in private life.



Dandansson
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04 Sep 2021, 4:07 am

Fireblossom wrote:
Oh yeah, I totally know this problem! One can plan things perfectly, but then things can still go wrong due to things out of your control, like weather or other people.

I can't really come up with any advice that would work in all kinds or even most situations, but when it comes to a situation like your example, one way would be to plan only two or three specific subjects you want to talk about on that meeting and make it clear at the very beginning that it'd be important to you to talk about those matters on that day. Then, if there's extra time, you can either let the conversation go where it goes or you could have a not so important subject than the first ones but still one you'd like to discuss if there's time prepared.

Another way for daily plans is that you pick certain important things you must do during the day, but don't pick so many that they'd make a very tight schedule, 'cause if even one of them took longer than you thought, the whole thing would likely be ruined. So, if possible, pick tasks in a way that you can still handle them in the given time window even if they take longer than you thought. Not always possible during work or with school work, but it's relatively easy to manage that in private life.

8)



somesortofvariant
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04 Sep 2021, 5:08 am

I have had this same frustration when trying to prepare for counseling sessions. In fact, this frustration may be part of why I decided to stop seeing my last therapist. I am naturally inclined to shy away from preparing for a meeting, so I would be all proud of myself for trying to plan ahead. I would even make a list! And yes, I would keep it short. 3 to 4 things to touch upon in a 60 min session. When I would announce at the start of the session that I made a list, the therapist would be all happy and say how that makes their job so much easier. And yet, I would be lucky to get past the first two items because the the counselor would want to start a deep dive on each topics. When I would say,"Wait, I want to touch upon this other stuff," it would seem like the therapist would take it as avoiding the hard truths to be found in a deeper discussion. I would assume that they were right, and yet, the truth is everything I want to discuss could easily lead into a deep discussion....but that would take forever! (The cynic in me thinks this is just a job security tactic on the therapist's part). So the last one or two items on the list would either be ignored or I would rush them out at the last minute, and it would end with me just not feeling good and thinking that we missed the hidden gems in those topics or seeing how all the topics tie together.

My situation could have been helped, I imagine, by speaking honestly with the therapist about my experience, how it made me feel, and coming to some mutually-agreed upon solution on how to approach our meetings. (But then again, one reason I was seeing a therapist was to learn how to speak up for myself and not default to people-pleasing mode...LOL. Maybe I will have better luck next time.)

Are you in a situation where you could have an open conversation about your experience with the people you are meeting with?



Dandansson
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04 Sep 2021, 5:48 am

somesortofvariant wrote:
Are you in a situation where you could have an open conversation about your experience with the people you are meeting with?

I think so.



ToughDiamond
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05 Sep 2021, 12:08 am

Yes a rigid thinker will find it hard to avoid a sense of frustration when attending anything but the most structured meeting, and a lot of these counselling things are very unstructured. I've also known the frustration of wanting to discuss a topic in detail when everybody else seems to want to drift off into other things.



aquafelix
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05 Sep 2021, 5:13 am

I'm a bit of a chronic over planner, which is exhausting. but it's better than having nothing to say



chaosmos
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05 Sep 2021, 5:08 pm

I loath rambling meetings with an unclear agenda, but my meetings often have more than myself and another present: ‘team meetings’ so to speak. I will often offer to go time keeper at meetings so discussion doesn’t get off topic.

Zoom meetings without a clear plan or an unclear goal are the worst. Does anyone have post Zoom meltdowns?



ToughDiamond
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05 Sep 2021, 9:18 pm

Actually I've often wondered how meetings for production purposes can possibly work, as they so often seem to involve making decisions based on information that's only just been supplied. Surely that's not enough time to consider carefully what action to take? Yet most organisations tend to use that method. I guess either I'm mistaken about the way decisions are made in the typical meeting (perhaps most people have the sense to defer important or complex decisions until the next meeting, to give themselves time to think it through), or maybe it's just that I'm a slower-than-average thinker.



Danusaurus
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05 Sep 2021, 9:33 pm

There's definitely an art to planning..