Are you a planner or a doer?
Don’t get me wrong. Planning is important. Smart people felt even a good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow — BUT, and this is a big bold ‘but’ — the key question is: what do you do after making a plan? Or, do you feel motivated to draft a plan but then struggle to execute it?
This is what I call ‘planning porn’:
- Making a beautiful project page in Notion to plan your day/week/quarter/year
- Drafting plans in Asana with detailed tasks with all the dates, tags etc
- Googling ‘best planning app on Android or iPhone 202x’ every few months and trying out new apps
- Think about your last 5 plans, put a finish % age (tasks which you started and finished). Is it <50%?
- Secretly, deep down in your heart, you like the elation, rush of adrenaline, the feeling of breaking down the goal into tasks, categorizing them in categories (colors), adding dependencies (lines)
If any of the above resonates, you’re not the only one. The fact is there is nothing wrong with the planning, or using planning apps and tools, or even the adrenaline rush of breaking down a dream into granular tasks. The only thing is: you got to follow ‘planning’ with ‘action’. Sivers has already demystified how idea execution works: execution is the multiplier. Without execution, nothing matters, not even a perfect plan.
When you fail to execute, don’t let your mind find an excuse in ‘bad planning’ as a reason for failure. If you do (and frankly as it usually happens), you’ll go back to the drawing board for a new plan, and then fail execution, and then…. its a loop. Never-ending one.
I have been struggling with this issue since years and the fact is, it is a hard problem to fix. What has helped me though is a 1:4 rule:
Every unit of Planning must be followed by 4 unit of Execution
Unit of work could be 30 minutes, hour, or a Pomodoro
Force yourself to work 4x the time you spend in planning. Unless you work, don’t go back to dreaming or planning stage. Follow this rule and make it a habit to stop procrastinating and break those mental blocks.