I saved this planning pitfall to the end. It wasn’t because of procrastination, I promise.
pro·cras·ti·nate | \ prə-ˈkra-stə-ˌnāt , prō- \
transitive verb: to put off intentionally and habitually
intransitive verb: to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done
The five main reasons for procrastination are:
- dislike the task
- we’re too tired
- fear of failure and/or success
- it’s not part of our goals
Let’s take a look at ways to prevent procrastination in the planning process.
- There is no perfect plan.
I have always had this drive to be perfect, even though this is an unattainable goal. For those of you that are younger than me, please let go of this sooner than later. Even you as old as me, or older, please take heed.
Procrastination because of perfectionism keeps us from accomplishing so much in life.
“Perfectionism is a delusion that can rob one of a very successful, enriching life if not careful.”
- I will agree, many people dislike the act of planning. It certainly isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
If this is you, there are ways around this. If you hate painting houses, hire a house painter. If you hate the planning process, hire someone like me. Ask for help.
“Those who ask for help are often those who have failed to do something for themselves.”
- It’s hard to do anything when we are tired. It’s hard to think, it’s hard to move, it’s hard to progress but it’s easy to let procrastination take over.
I literally put planning on my calendar. I know exactly when I am going to take on the planning process.
My planning schedule goes like this – an Annual Plan, broken down into a Quarterly Plan, broken down into a Monthly Plan, broken down into a Weekly Plan, broken down into a Daily Plan.
I plan time for each, and I put this as the first thing on my calendar for the day. When that particular planning day comes along, it is the first thing that gets done that day. Actually, the 2nd. Coffee first always! I have had a good night’s rest, and by planning it first thing in the day, I don’t get started on other projects that will cause me to be too tired to do the planning I need to do.
If your home isn’t conducive to planning, plan ahead to find a quiet place to plan. A park, a coffee shop, a library, a hotel lobby. For my annual planning, I go away for a couple of days.
”Sleep is an investment in the energy you need to be effective tomorrow.”
- Is our fear about failing at the planning process, or is it fear of failing at executing the plan?
We only fail at planning if we never attempt it. Please refer to number one. There is no perfect plan.
If you want some tips for successful planning ideas, take a look at Planning Pitfalls and Solutions 1, 2 & 3, and 4.
Often times fear of success will keep us from moving forward.
It seems crazy, but it’s a real thing.
We of course have failed before, which makes it more comfortable. If we have never succeeded in the planning process, it can be scary. If we haven’t been successful at it before, there is the unknown, which can cause fear.
The fear of failure and/or success are definitely something to be looked at when there is procrastination in the planning process.
“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
- I don’t look at planning as a goal, I look at it as a part of life.
We have one life to live. By planning for the life we want to lead, we are going to accomplish more and squeeze every last bit out of this thing called life. I lived a large part of my life by default. I didn’t know any better, but now I do.
It’s my mission to help others to find the time to do what they love and what they desire. This can be accomplished with planning AND with execution. Procrastination in this process keeps us from moving forward.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
Take Action –
- Put your planning time on your calendar in ink.
- Find and plan for a place where you can concentrate.
- Get an especially good night’s sleep the night before.
- Create your plan.
- Leave procrastination in the dust!