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Planning and Scheduling
Planning (also called forethought) is the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve a desired goal.
Planning involves the creation and maintenance of a plan. As such, planning is a fundamental property of intelligent behavior. This thought process is essential to the creation and refinement of a plan, or integration of it with other plans; that is, it combines forecasting of developments with the preparation of scenarios of how to react to them.
An important, albeit often ignored aspect of planning, is the relationship it holds with forecasting. Forecasting can be described as predicting what the future will look like, whereas planning predicts what the future should look like. People have trouble planning basically because they are uncomfortable with the uncertainty of the future. One of the best way to reduce the anxiety of being uncertain with the future is to build self-esteem and self-confidence. Self-esteem gives you the "blind faith" required to make the decisions required to plan. It does so not by allowing you to make irresponsible decisions, but by giving you the confidence in yourself to take the risks necessary by understand that when something goes wrong, you can fix it, course-correct or change your plan. The counterpart to planning is impulsivity.
Planning is one of the executive functions of the brain, encompassing the neurological processes involved in the formulation, evaluation and selection of a sequence of thoughts and actions to achieve a desired goal. Various studies utilizing a combination of neuropsychological, neuropharmacological and functional neuroimaging approaches have suggested there is a positive relationship between impaired planning ability and cognitive deficits in the the frontal lobe. ADD medications and coaching can improve planning when the deficit is based in the frontal lobe.
Another neurological factor that inhibits planning is that the emotional centers of the brain disrupt the frontal lobe's ability to plan. Anxiety, stress and fear interfere with reason, logic and thought. Anti-anxiety medicines, self-esteem counseling and therapy can improve planning when the deficit is based in the emotional centers of the brain.
Organizing is the act of rearranging elements following one or more rules. Anything is commonly considered organized when it looks like everything has a correct order or placement. But it's only ultimately organized if any element has no difference on time taken to find it. In that sense, organizing can also be defined as to place different objects in logical arrangement for better searching. Organizations are groups of people organized for some purpose, such as business or political activities.
Executive functions is an umbrella term for cognitive processes that regulate, control, and manage other cognitive processes, such as planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, inhibition, mental flexibility, task switching, and initiation and monitoring of actions. Each of these cognitive processes are required for organizing.
The executive system is a theorized cognitive system in psychology that controls and manages other cognitive processes. It is responsible for processes that are sometimes referred to as executive functions, executive skills, supervisory attentional system, or cognitive control. The prefrontal areas of the frontal lobe are necessary but not sufficient for carrying out these functions.
Jesse is a Graduate Student in Psychology, Neurocoach, and Test Administrator.