planning system Tash Corbin podcastIn today’s episode, I’m going to share with you why my planning system works for entrepreneurs.

This episode is a little different because I want to talk about it through the lens of one of my products.

But I’m not doing that in order to promote my planning system to you. You are welcome to sign up for the waitlist at tashcorbin.com/planner, but I am releasing this episode as far away from planning time and the promotion of my planner as you could probably get in my business.

I’m doing this because I think it’s really helpful for you to create a strategy, process or structure around your own planning that works for you.

I’m going to share with you why my planning system really works for entrepreneurs so that you can look for whether you have that in your own planning structure and the way that you manage yourself as the CEO of your business. If not, you might be able to fill those gaps with your own strategies – not necessarily through having to buy my planner.

As I mentioned, if you are interested in jumping on the waitlist for next year’s Planner, you can do so here: tashcorbin.com/planner

You can also grab my FREE Quarterly Planning Template at any time here: tashcorbin.com/qplan

Please do not think that I’m only doing this episode because I want you to think that my Planner is amazing. I really do think that dissecting this is going to be very helpful to see what may be missing in your own planning or self-management strategies.

Let’s dive in!

Tash Corbin podcast planning system


Here for the links referenced in the show notes?

Jump on the 2025 Heart-Centred Business Planning System waitlist – tashcorbin.com/planner

Grab the free Quarterly Planning Template – tashcorbin.com/qplan

Ask a question on the podcast – tashcorbin.com/question



EPISODE 404
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I have been selling the Heart-Centred Business Planner since 2014. The 2025 planner will be the 11th round!

In that time, I have changed and updated the planner itself quite significantly. I have also added in the planning system.

When I first started selling the Heart-Centred Business Planner it was just a yearly planner.

But something that I really struggled with when it was just a planner was:

1. People just bought it and then I never heard from them again
2. I had no idea if it worked for them or if they filled it in
3. Seeing as filling it in is only the first part of the equation, I wanted to make sure they IMPLEMENTED their plan!

I don’t want to just create planners so that you can fill it in and not do it.

I wanted to ensure that people were actually implementing their plan.

These days, the Heart-Centred Business Planning System looks way different to what it first looked like.

We now have the yearly planner, alongside an entire self-management system that you adapt and change to your needs based on some key principles.

PLUS it comes with an entire year of doing our quarterly planning together.

We do our yearly and quarterly planning together, and we have mid-quarter calls where we talk about self-management and some of the strategies to make sure that what we’re doing is actually aligned with our vision and our goals, and that we’re implementing what we committed to.

It’s basically a year-long mentorship on how to plan for your business, manage yourself, implement that plan, and streamline and structure the way that you run your business as the CEO.

That planning system is so powerful for entrepreneurs for a range of different reasons.

What I want to do in this episode is unpack that and share those five big reasons why it’s so powerful. Then you can look for ways you can access that yourself in whatever it is that you’re doing.

Reason 1: It’s built on my lived experience and struggles with planning

I know the struggle of sitting at your desk and not knowing what you need to do. You want to work on your business, you want to grow your business and you want to do the right thing, but you don’t know what the right thing is.

I also know the struggle of when you then get to the point where you know where the right thing is and you know what you should be doing, but you’re not doing it.

Furthermore, I also know the struggle of when you know so many things that you should be doing and you’ve got so many things on your list that every time you think about getting something done, you just want to sit on the couch and eat nachos, because there’s just too much and there’s no way you can get it done, therefore, what is the point in starting?

I also know the struggle of spending time and energy creating a plan and thinking you’re mapping it out in amazing detail and getting all your tasks set up, and then after three days feeling so behind and having so many overdue dates staring at you, that you are creating this environment in which you are feeling less and less successful every day, instead of feeling more and more successful every single day.

Having been through all of those struggles, it means that the planning system is built to ensure we don’t go off into any of those territories.

And if we do, we know how to identify it and come back.

That’s such a powerful thing to be able to do when you make a plan in your business, when you are learning how to implement it, and when you are learning how to manage your task list and to-do list.

Not all task management systems work for all people.

Not all strategies of how you plan and structure your day work for all people.

My planning system is not built based on following my step-by-step routine for the day blindly and telling you it’ll work for you because it works for me.

That’s not what this is built on.

The planning system is built on knowing:

  • Where a lot of our planning can go wrong (because I went there)
  • Where we can plan so diligently but cannot implement (because I’ve been there)
  • What goes wrong when we overload ourselves and cause more overwhelm than clarity with too much structure or too much micromanaging ourselves and trying to plan within an inch of our day (been there!)

Seeing as I understand and have been through that struggle, I have crafted in the planning system ways to come back to that base point.

One of the key ones is that when it comes to creating your plan, the less predictability you have in your business, the shorter-term your plan becomes.

In the planning system, our yearly planner is really loosey-goosey goals for the year.

The more specific you can plan for the full year in advance, the more detailed your yearly plan will be.

But the yearly plan works for someone who’s just starting in business and has no idea what they’re going to be doing in a month, just as well as it works for someone who’s been running their business for 11 years like me and is planning launches almost 12 months out.

That is one of the big ways that it ensures you’re not creating this unwieldy long-term plan for the rest of the year for your business when you have no idea what’s going to work next week. Therefore, you have no idea what direction you’re going to go in.

Instead of putting pressure on yourself to know the unknowable, you just build out the timeframe of your plan as you go. The more predictability you have in your business, the longer ahead you can start to plan.

You don’t end up spending all that time planning something you can’t implement, OR sitting in front of your computer not knowing what to do.

I think that that’s one of the big reasons why it is so powerful and why it works so well for entrepreneurs.

Another way that I think knowing the struggle also shapes the structure that we have is that I know the struggle of having a thousand things overdue within a few days of planning actually comes from having too many things on your to-do list. 

One of the key principles of the planning system is that each day, there are four priority tasks and four alone. That’s it!

The resistance that people have to that is phenomenal.

But by the end of the year, they are shouting it from the rooftops. Only four things a day!! They get it, they’ve lived it and they see how successful they feel and the momentum that it creates. It’s so exciting and powerful.

Those principles and strategies come from my lived experience of the struggle with some of those planning traps.

That is reason number one why the planning system works.

Reason 2: It’s based on proof with over 1,000 different people doing it

It’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of planning system. It’s a make-it-fit-you planning system.

Often we’re trying to fit a square peg (ourselves) into a round hole (someone else’s business plan/structure) when we take on someone else’s planning structure, self-management structure, or Asana template.

When it comes to creating a planning system for yourself, I think it’s important to have some of those key principles clear and know what the skeleton framework is… but you need to ensure that you are making it work for you.

Something that works beautifully for me is using a pen-and-paper day planner.

Every day, I open that planner and it tells me what my top four tasks for the day are (I don’t use it for my calendar). It tells me this because at my end-of-day routine the day before, I’d written them in there.

That works magnificently for me because it means that before I’ve even opened my laptop, I’ve opened the plan. I know what my tasks are for the day.

In a lot of cases, I get them done before I look at anything else in my business.

I know as a neurodivergent-easily-distracted person who can often get caught up in other people’s energy and priorities, that that is important to ensure that I’m looking after the long-term growth of my business.

However, other people have the planning system who don’t work well that way. They need to start their day by making sure they’ve taken care of their emails, and that there isn’t any outstanding client work that’s overdue. They need to take that time to get that sorted.

Once that’s sorted, they’ll sit down and look at what their four things for the day are.

But the flexibility of the system means that that works within both. There’s no hard-and-fast rule about how to use the system.

The structure and strategies underneath are core principles that you can then adapt and adjust the way that you do it to your specific needs.

The four things a day part is one that we do want to work towards. That is one where I would say it’s not negotiable. We want to get there eventually.

Maybe some people start with eight and work their way down. That’s okay! Anything is better than the forty you previously had.

But really, the intention is that we’re getting to four things a day.

That four things a day is a magic number.

We’ve had almost 1,500 people who have done the planning system. Every single individual has been able to adapt the structure, and processes around their unique needs, personality, strengths and business model.

That proof shows that having the principles clear and the application a little looser and aligned to what you need, is not only possible, but it’s probably the best case scenario for most entrepreneurs.

I know for myself as a neurodivergent entrepreneur who is a romantic Sacred Money Archetype and doesn’t want to put a lot of time into my business, that if I had to use a planning system that required me to do eight hour days several days a week, I would be out. It’s not my thing.

That’s where that applicability to so many different people (and the fact that it works for all of them) is just so magical.

Reason 3: It’s adaptable and flexible

If you need:

  • Lots and lots of colour in your plan… that’s possible.
  • A plan that you can tweak and change every single week… you can.
  • A plan that you can pop into a digital task management system like Asana so that you’re getting popups each day and you don’t have to write out your top four tasks by hand… you can.

There are so many powerful and amazing ways that people have made the system their own, while still ensuring they are setting themselves up for success.

They are still making the most of their time, being effective and efficient, and they are focusing on a good mix of short-term result activities and longer-term growth activities so that with each passing month in their business, they are looking after their future selves further and further ahead.

For me as a neurodivergent entrepreneur who experiences object permanence (ie. if I cannot see it, it does not exist), I need my plan in front of me when I’m working on my business.

There are other people who don’t need that.

That adaptability means that whether it’s a neurodivergence that you want to work with, or it’s a need to be able to see things far into the distance that really makes you feel like you’ve got clarity on where you’re going and keeping your motivation up, you can have that.

Whether you’re someone who needs to work around quickly changing situations and needs, or you need some other adaptability, that is available with the planning system.

That’s something to look for in the way that you plan.

Do you have the adaptability that you need?

I don’t need the adaptability of being able to drop everything to go and pick up sick kids from school because I don’t have children. I don’t need the adaptability of having each task in my to-do list spoon-fed to me one at a time.

Therefore, I don’t build that into the version that I use in my business.

I need:

  • My plan in front of me
  • Colour
  • Some flexibility so that if I don’t feel like doing something, I am not going to derail everyone else’s work in my business. My team are not going to be sitting there waiting for me for weeks all because don’t feel like doing something

In my plan, I also like to ensure that I am recording podcast episodes at least a few months in advance so that my team have time to do up all the show notes, and so that if something happens for me and I get out of the groove of recording podcasts, then that’s fine because I can get back in the groove well before we run out of episodes.

Something else that’s important to me is that I run my business around my menstrual cycle.

I don’t record podcast episodes while I’m menstruating. I’m far more articulate and far better at concisely giving advice when I am ovulating.

I build my business around that. I also build my launch strategy and the way I interact with my team around that.

My team have absolute permission and encouragement to also build their role in the business around their own menstrual cycle.

We have that flexibility and adaptability. And we’ve built the things in that are important for this business.

The structure, principles and skeleton framework underneath is exactly the same as someone else who needs to take four weeks off over the summer or needs to be able to drop everything to go and pick up sick kids from school.

What’s underneath is the same. But the way that it is managed and the way that I work with it is very different.

That adaptability is really powerful.

Reason 4: It’s effective whether you are a low-drive planner or a highly driven planner

What I mean by that is that some people really enjoy planning. They have a high drive for planning and managing.

If they have to jump into a task management software every day and move things around and tick things off, they love that.

They’ve got a high drive for planning and management.

But for me, that would be avoidance city.

I have this love/hate relationship with recurring tasks in Asana.

Asana is a brilliant tool – I will absolutely give you that. It is freaking fantastic.

But when I first started using Asana, it was with a business manager who had a high planning drive.

For example, she put a DAILY recurring task in my Asana for me to check my Facebook page and post for the day.

If I took a long weekend off and then came back to my desk on Monday morning and opened my Asana, I would check that off for the Friday and it would appear again for the Saturday… so I’d check it off for the Saturday and it would reappear on the Sunday.

That was the most frustrating experience. It meant that I had the experience most days of opening up Asana and seeing more than ten things overdue. I’d feel so overwhelmed, frustrated, scared and freaked out.

They were the tiniest little things, but just seeing all of that red in front of me meant I didn’t log back into Asana for three weeks.

It wasn’t a conscious decision. But it was just that it was such an unenjoyable situation. It was such a triggering experience that I avoided it as much as I could.

I am a low-drive planner.

What that means is I love putting time into making a plan in advance and some structured planning time. But when it comes to that daily drive to rearrange or micromanage myself, I don’t do well being micromanaged by someone else, and I don’t do well being micromanaged by myself.

The experience is the same. Regardless of whether it’s Asana trying to micromanage me, or whether I’m trying to micromanage me.

It’s the same reason why I don’t love those AI-driven calendar management systems, because that’s exactly what they do.

They take your task list and stick it in your calendar, and now from 8:15-8:30 you’re brushing your teeth, and from 8:30-8:45 you’re sitting at your desk having a coffee, and from 8:45-9 you’re checking emails.

That to me feels horrible. That’s why I got out of having a job! I don’t want to have my day dictated to me.

I want to have the freedom to play and explore. And I also want to feel like I’ve moved my business forward at the end of the day. I’ve been strategic and I feel successful.

I don’t create that by having high-drive planning or a task management approach that requires me to have that micro-tasking.

It just doesn’t work for me.

The beautiful thing is that there are people who have the planning system who are high-drive planners and the system works for them too.

When we’re in the ‘How you’re going to manage yourself’ part of the process, they get to go and make their little recurring tasks in Asana if they want to.

They get the joy of seeing all those tasks ticked off in Asana and the little unicorn popping up (I think that’s what happens – I’ve never experienced that obviously).

For me, if I’ve got things that I need to do daily, I would much rather just have those things listed on my desk, and every day, I can just look at it. I don’t need to check it off and say I’ve done it – I can just look at it. That’s it. It’s done.

I don’t think I’ll ever have the same day, every day for a whole year. Even that feels like I’m going to snore myself off to sleep.

I don’t like repetition or rigidity.

I also know that for me as someone who menstruates, that’s not something that my hormones are programmed for. I’m designed to wake up later when I’m menstruating, sleep longer and be more restful and gentle.

I am someone who, when my hormones are in that follicular stage right after menstruation, my idea generation is off the hook. But it’s not a time for me to implement those ideas, it’s a time for me to play with those ideas. And so that’s something that I do.

I also get a really big spurt of energy for higher-intensity exercise and so that’s often the time in my cycle when I’ll go for much longer walks.

To try and have the exact same day every day is going to be a losing battle because I’m not designed that way hormonally. Nor is that something that works for my neurodivergent I-need-a-lot-of-variety-in-my-life kind of brain either.

That ability to transition between the two is great.

For your business, it’s really important to identify: Do you actually have a high drive for self-management and planning? Or are you a low-drive planner like me?

Just because someone else says that if you use Asana in a certain way, it’s going to be amazing, does not mean that you have to subscribe to that same approach, especially if it just doesn’t give you the thrill that it gives them.

I get thrills in other ways that they would probably find bizarre.

That’s the beauty of us being able to acknowledge and accept that we’re all unique, we all have different needs and we all have different strengths.

We are all able to love each other and respect each other for the way that we work and what works for us.

Reason 5: There is no such thing as failing

This is a principle I want you to take on board. I want you to find a way to really embed this in your own business, in your planning and in your self-management – regardless of how you do it.

It’s a bit of a non-negotiable. I really do think this is one of the keys to the planning system’s success, and I think it’s one of the keys to why the people who use the planning system consistently are so successful and love it so much, and end up coming back year after year.

There is no such thing as failing. There is no such thing as a plan that failed.

There’s only feedback and finessing. 

If we set up a quarterly plan with some goals and outputs, and then three weeks later, you say that they haven’t taken action on anything, then clearly there’s something going on there. That doesn’t mean that the plan has failed. There’s no failure in that.

What we look for is why it didn’t work.

There’s some juicy feedback there about why you completely avoided it from the outset.

Clearly, the way that it was set up was not designed to work for you. Clearly, something was missing.

Is it an object permanence issue? Did it need to be on your desk? No.
Is it a colourfulness issue? Is it too boring and your eyes glaze over? No.
Is it an overwhelm issue? When you look at it, do you feel overwhelmed and you want to avoid it, therefore you avoided it? Yes, that’s actually what it is!

From there we can finesse.

If having the whole plan in front of you at once just makes you feel overwhelmed, then let’s just set it up so you only see one week at a time for now.

When you look at it, all you’re seeing is what you’re going to do this week. Don’t worry about the rest, the rest is in the plan, it’ll be taken care of.

But for now, we’re just going to focus on this week.

That is literally a conversation I had with someone in the planning system in our quarter two planning session just recently.

It’s such a great perspective to take when it comes to planning and self-management in particular.

I see far too many people beating themselves up in the Heart-Centred community on #CEOmode Monday. So many people say “#CEOmode Well, I hope this week is better than last week, because I totally fizzled last week and everything went terribly. And I didn’t do this. And I didn’t do that…”

They’re just giving themselves a terrible report card and labelling themselves, their business and their plan as a failure, when that’s not it. That’s not the problem.

In essence, what they’re trying to do is use the same approach this week as the one that didn’t work for them last week.

And then they wonder why they feel like a failure at the end of the week again!

We can actually make the appropriate changes if we don’t take it as failure or a personal affront that we did something wrong or we’re not disciplined enough, and instead, we look at: Why did the system not engage, motivate and keep you focused? What did you need that it didn’t provide? What did it do that you didn’t want or that didn’t work for you?

But as long as you keep calling yourself a failure and saying you’re not good at business planning and they’re not fit for you, then you’ll just stay stuck.

Everyone can have a business plan.
Everyone’s business plan will be different.
Everyone is good at business planning.

You’ve just got to find the business planning structure that works for you.

Every business is more successful with a plan. You’ve just got to finesse that process so that it gets the best of you and your business in the most pleasurable, streamlined and easy-to-follow way.

When you stop making it about failure, and instead look at it as feedback to finesse, then it completely changes the mindset.

It completely changes the approach. There’s no more “should I have a plan or not”.

You just need to look at how you can finesse this plan to actually give you what I need in a way that feels easy, engaging and enjoyable.

I love my planning system. I love using the planner and updating my quarterly plans. It all works brilliantly. But it’s not because I found the one magical planning thing to rule them all.

It’s because I am facilitating a guided process through which people can learn how to manage themselves that works for them, with those tiny little guiding principles underneath, and a really nice starting structure that can be adapted, changed and moved into different structures and task management software.

It is so phenomenal when you find that rhythm and process that works for you.

I know that this sounds like I just did a giant pitch for the Heart-Centred Business Planner.

Honestly, if you want to come and join us next year, I’d love for you to do that. Big shout out to the 2024 Planning Posse who are reading this!

I also have a free resource for you with today’s episode.

It’s my Quarterly Planning Template.

It is as simple as putting your priorities for each quarter on that one page.

It looks so simple when you see it. But it makes the world of difference for staying focused on the things that are going to grow your business, and staying away from some of those shiny distractions that slow you down and get you off track.

It also does have that flexibility and adaptability that when opportunities arise that you do want to take advantage of, you can! You can be flexible and adapt.

You can sign up for that free resource here: tashcorbin.com/qplan

And you can also join the waitlist for the 2025 Planning System at tashcorbin.com/planner

If you join the waitlist, you do get an opportunity to purchase before everyone else at a discount. It is something I would encourage you to have a little look at if you’re interested.

If you’ve got any questions about planning, organising yourself or self-management, you can also ask a question for me to answer on a future podcast (and you’ll even get a little shoutout!): tashcorbin.com/question

Thank you so much for joining me for this episode.

Until next time, I cannot WAIT to see you SHINE.

Tash Corbin Business Mentor and Strategist