Copyright © 2011 Guest Author. Visit the original article at http://www.productivitybits.com/how-to-avoid-the-pitfalls-of-planning.
This guest post is by Haim Pekel, Marketing Director at IQTELL.
Most people agree that preparation and planning are keys to your long term performance. If you are prepared and cover all the angles, then you would probably perform better, right?
Well, Not exactly.
Sounds pretty straight forward – plan right and you shall receive!
The problem of course is that the line is invisible, and most of us are not “experts” when it comes to planning; so we find ourselves planning a grocery list the size of the Declaration of Independence even before we lifted a finger. Suffice it to say, there’s nothing more discouraging than a huge list of to-do’s and no brain power left to complete the listed tasks.
An important part of planning (and the one that gets neglected most of the time) is the balance between planning and action stages. When you plan, you need to leave enough space for situational awareness and have enough flexibility to meet that action.
So how do you maintain balance and identify the pitfalls of planning?
#1 If you’re writing something that you won’t use during the task, you’re probably over planning.
Writing notes is awesome! You’re getting it done, and you’re a planner! Or, not…. Stop cold turkey and see if what you’re writing is actually something you’re going to use during your task. Also, try to write in bulleted lists, write lean!
#2 If you’re writing more than 5 bullets for each task, you’re probably over planning.
If a task is so big that you need to write 10-20 bullets as part of the planning process, than you should break that task into sub-tasks that you can do without too much planning.
#3 If you’re delaying a task for some reason, you’re probably over planning.
Over planning leads to procrastination – it holds you at bay and prevents you from completing even simple tasks. When you’re procrastinating and you know it, check if you can simplify your task.
#4 If you’re planning a few days ahead, you’re probably over planning.
Spreading tasks out over a couple of days may make you feel organized and on top of things. In actuality, it wastes your time, creates expectations that are largely unrealistic and eventually leads to disappointment.
#5 If you’re planning tasks by the hour, you’re probably over planning.
Tasks are not supposed to be scheduled hourly. They should be arranged according to priority.
Unless we repeat a task over and over again, we can’t possibly asses how much time it will take to complete it, not to mention the problems that might pop that could prevent you from completing it on time.
#6 When your information and tools are spread all over the place, you’re probably over planning.
You have 40 tabs open in the browser, your tools are scattered all over, you are constantly switching between documents and you just thought of a book that might help you complete the task at hand. You don’t need more information or tools to complete your tasks, you need to act.
Your tasks don’t exist in a vacuum, choose your tools carefully before you start planning. If you have a tool that helps you to get organized and concentrates planning and tasks in one place, go with it!
IQTELL allows you to plan and manage all your tasks, emails, bookmarks, searches, documents, notes, bank accounts and much more in a single place that will help you balanced you’re planning and action.
Want to join our Beta? Apply here.
Note: I am not compensated in any form by linking to IQTELL. Maybe I should ask them for something – Marlon 🙂
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