April Jeppson: It’s true — Failing to plan is planning to fail

Published 7:32 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


I finally get up after snoozing my alarm for 30 minutes. I’m so tired. I should have jumped out of bed and went to the gym, but my sheets just felt so cool on my skin, I didn’t want to get up. I proceed to stumble to the shower and get myself ready for work. Then I get my kids ready for day camp. This includes packing lunches, snacks, swimsuits, towels and water bottles. During all of this, you can hear me shouting across the house, “Did you finish breakfast?” “Are your teeth brushed?” and “Did you fill your water bottle?”

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We barely make it to work on time, and I notice that one of my girls didn’t get her hair brushed. So I rummage my car looking for a hair binder — jackpot! I give her a quick ponytail, and off we go. I only had to remind my children twice to be nice to each other, so I’m feeling optimistic about today.

While at work, I realize during all the hustle of getting my kids’ stuff packed, I didn’t pack myself a lunch. I go to the vending machine and score a bag of chips and some Mike & Ikes. Not my finest hour. In fact, this past month hasn’t really been my finest hour. I’m starting to feel like I’m in that movie “Groundhog Day.” Every day, I wake up and stumble through the steps only to wake up and repeat it over and over again with seemingly no progress.

I recently took on an additional job that adds about 30 hours to my workweek. If you add that to the jobs I already have, plus volleyball, church activities, board meetings and the fact that I’d really like to sneak in dinner with a friend each week — well, you see where I’m going with this. I’m busy.

Two years ago I had one job. I was a Scentsy consultant. I’d do the occasional vendor show and home party. Most of my work was done from my computer or cell phone. I probably clocked two to four hours a week of actual work. Then came gymnastics, and for over a year, I was managing pretty well on less than 20 hours a week of work. Within the last four months, I’ve more than doubled my hours working outside the home, and I’m struggling.

Let me stop you right there. No, I’m not going to quit one of my jobs. I, in fact, love all my jobs. Really. I’m blessed with having some of the best co-workers and bosses this town has to offer. Although I’m tired and scrambling to catch up, I’m currently in such a better place mentally than I was a few years ago. I don’t do well with copious amounts of free time. Ask my friends. Was my house spotless back then? No. Did I take lots of naps? Yes.

The thing that I’m struggling with is not that I work so much. There are tons of people who work way more than I do. I’m struggling with the fact that I used to be home all day and had all the time in the world. Old April was able to walk to her kitchen and grab lunch whenever, no need to plan ahead or pack. Old April could also hit the gym at 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 1 p.m. or 6 p.m., so I didn’t always need to jump out of bed all bright-eyed and bushy tailed. I could get my workout in later. Old April could also slide in lunch dates, grocery shopping and pedicures whenever she wanted. No need to leave work early or plan it out with my husband.

Old solutions don’t work for new problems. I need to plan. I need to prep. “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” I realized this week that I’m in full-on survival mode. I’m being reactive instead of proactive. I’m catching the problems as they are happening, rather than preventing them from happening in the first place. I hate it. Thankfully, this hatred is motivating me to change.

I downloaded a scheduling app to my phone, and I ordered a planner from Amazon. I’m setting aside some time this Sunday afternoon to play with these new toys. In fact, I’ll probably be setting aside some time every Sunday afternoon to pause, reflect and organize my week ahead. I need to be the best version of myself if I want this to work. My best self exercises a few days a week and doesn’t live off of vending machine candy. I need to take care of myself first because I can’t pour from an empty cup. And this momma has a lot of cups to fill.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.