No time for traditional planning – try a fresh approach

Are you someone who finds forward planning and managing your time a breeze or do you constantly feel overloaded with tasks and struggle to arrive at meetings and get things done on time?

If you fall in the former camp then you may well get frustrated with friends and colleagues who never seem to be able to arrive on time for events and meetings. The truth is, we all perceive time differently and in NLP terms we can be classed as either ‘through time’ or ‘in time’ depending on how we see and manage our time.

Through Time

Through Time people see time as linear, continuous and uninterrupted like a stream running in front of them. Through time people are always aware of time and are on time (or even early) for meetings and events. They are great at planning, working to a plan and multi-tasking. In the extreme, Through Time people may miss out on enjoying the moment as they are constantly thinking about what’s happening next or being on time for their next meeting.

In Time

In Time people on the other hand are much more associated into each experience, can get lost in the eternal ‘now’ and have no idea what time it is. In Time people are less likely to stick to a plan and can become side-tracked very easily. They will often be late for appointments because right now is more real than the future. They tend to dislike personal organisers, planning and being accountable for time. Many artists experience this way of filtering time as it enables spontaneity, creativity and flexibility. However it’s not always useful for doing business in a Western culture where detailed planning and deadlines are involved.

Planning for In time people

Whilst very firmly in the Through Time camp myself (time cop!), I often work with In Time people who want help with their strategy and planning for their business. The problem is that traditional (Through Time) techniques just don’t work for these people and whatever plans you create with them at the time, there’s a pretty good chance that they will struggle to implement them and always have lots of excuses for why they haven’t taken the promised action and followed their activity plans. Until recently, when working with In Time people I always felt that I hadn’t quite achieved success with them because they failed to follow up with the promised activity. A recent experiment with a client has revealed a potential solution for In Time business owners who struggle to plan and always seem to have a massive To Do list of ‘urgent’ tasks.

I took a struggling In Time client and her business goals out into the Surrey Hills and we literally walked through her goals for the next year. As an In Time person who struggles to see more than 1 or 2 weeks ahead, walking through the tasks, activities and opportunities allowed her to be constantly in the moment and also create inspirational anchors for her to take away and keep her motivation high later on.  A lot of In Time people seem to suffer from task overwhelm and one of the things my client said at the end of the session was that it no longer felt as though all of her tasks were right in her face and that she didn’t have to do everything at once.

In any of these planning and time management problems sound familiar to you and are holding you back in your business then try reducing overwhelm and creating a more structured approach by literally taking your goals outside and walking  through them. You can future plan whilst still being in the moment!

About Jenny Littlejohn

Jenny is passionate about giving small business owners the confidence and knowledge to market their businesses with courage, flair and creativity. As both a business coach and marketer, Jenny loves helping people to do the things they previously thought were too complex, scary or totally out of their comfort zones.

Jenny also literally takes big strides with her clients; taking their coaching and strategic sessions outdoors into local countryside and parks where inspiration is unlimited!

Website :

InspiredPreneur Blog

Jenny Littlejohn
Jenny Littlejohn

Jenny specialises in helping small business owners (especially service professionals) who are stuck, confused and frustrated with their marketing and business development efforts. Jenny helps her clients to define precisely who their clients are and how they buy in order to develop and implement an individually tailored marketing program that makes them stand out from the crowd and attract their ideal clients.I love blogging and writing articles as a way of sharing valuable knowledge and inspiring women to try think in new ways and try a different approach.

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.




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