I’ve needed to write this post for a long time. Why? Because I’m often plagued by my never-ending addiction to planning. Believe me, I know how to plan and plan and plan.
Ask my wife. You’ll discover that I’ve made flowcharts, tables, graphs, mind maps, prioritized lists, reminder systems, you name it. What can I say, I’m a bit of a nerd. I like planning!
Planning, however, only gets you so far.
So, whether you’re planning vastly different budgets for every month or tend to conjure up a new business model every week, here’s how you can do less planning and more doing.
The Cure for Obsessive Planners
Did you ever play with Hot Wheels when you were a kid? The toy consisted of several long tracks you could string together and send little toy cars down. Cars could go upside-down through loops, over hills after they hit electronic boosters, or off “huge” jumps.
I remember that I would typically build long tracks with all the gizmos and stunts available to me. I would spend a little too much time building my track without testing it out, and send the car down the track hoping it would complete the entire course. Unfortunately, the car wouldn’t always make it – crashing after a mini-jump or stopping on the track midway.
What I should have done is less planning and more doing. I should have planned a section of track, tested that section of track, and moved on to the next section of track if it worked. That’s the essence of the cure for obsessive planners, in three easy steps. Here are the steps in a little more detail . . . .
Easy Steps to Stop Planning and Start Doing
1. Plan a small section of your grand plan, not the whole thing at once.
While keeping your end goal in mind, plan a small section of your grand plan and test its reliability.
Let’s say you’re trying to figure out how to make a budget. Perhaps you should figure out your budgeting categories before you start prioritizing them. If you try to prioritize as you think of your budgeting categories, you’ll have to rewrite your list (trust me, I know from experience), and take up more valuable time than is really needed.
2. Test your plan thus far and do something!
Do you believe that your plan thus far will get you to where you want to go? If it’s safe to do so, begin to implement the first phases of your plan! Try it out!
The great thing about testing out sections of your plan is that it will allow you to get something done in a timely manner and allow you to modify your plan going forward based on what you learned.
Remember, you can modify most plans as you go. Don’t wait to perfect everything. Do something even if it is a small thing!
3. Move on to the next section of your plan and repeat.
The next step is to move onto the next section of your plan and repeat the process. By doing little sections of your grand plan at a time, you’ll be able to “course correct” and make sure everything is working as needed.
I’m confident that if you can control the obsessive planner in you, you’ll see greater success in life. So plan, but start doing as well!
Are you an obsessive planner? How do you get anything done? Leave a comment below with your thoughts!