How much planning is too much planning?

May 5, 2020 • ☕️ 2 min read

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We’ve all been there.
I usually find myself there. Planning things out, again and again.
I like it, listing things out, setting unrealistic deadlines, creating Kanban boards. It gives me a push.
But there’s a very thin line between a plan of the work and the work of the plan. I’ve been in the pit of over-planning myself and I’ve learned a few things about how not to fall in it again.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail — Benjamin Franklin

These are the three things I try to remember every time I find myself in such a situation.

Planning is not a substitute for work

It’s very easy to fall into this trap. We feel accomplished when we plan things out. But remember, you don’t have anything to show for your work till you put in the hours.

You can’t build up a reputation on what you are going to do. — Henry Ford

The building blocks of your work is effort. Always have and always will. No amount of planning can ever substitute that.

The time spent planning is time spent not working

I sometimes start the work with the incomplete/imperfect plan, because I know that my plan might change depending on the work I do. Though this is not the very best practice to follow, I know. But hey, it helps me.

It helps me to reinforce the idea that planning things out is not the job I’m expected to do or hired to do. I’m here to get things done.

So what now? Do I need a plan about how to plan?

Any plan is good, as long as you work according to it. Every plan is terrible if you don’t put in the work. .

As an example: there are hundreds of ‘30 day challenges’ on the tips of your fingers. For fitness, habits, productivity, etc. And here’s the thing: They all work(mostly). But most of the people following them don’t get the results. They try, get bored, and then complain. Its because they didn’t actually follow them. If they had they must have learned something. In the worst-case scenario, they must have at least learned that the plan is shit and they have to work with something smarter/better the next time.

Sticking to the plan is more important than having a good or a bad plan.


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