“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon
You need to know what it is you want to do in order to plan how you’re going to do it, but, here’s the big question: do you ever do any of the things you plan to do?
Plans are good; plans give focus and direction in life, but there’s a snag with plans too. If you’re someone who likes to make plans and you’re good at putting highly detailed plans of action together, you might get so caught up in planning that you never actually take any action. In fact, if planning is what you like to do, you might not have any time left in your day to do anything else. For example, we’re all familiar with the time-management strategy of writing a daily “to-do” list.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” – Bruce Lee
This is a strategy that’s the most effective if you prioritise the items on your list at the start of each day and then work your way progressively from the top down. The idea is that prioritising your tasks and not allowing yourself to move on until each one is completed in turn prevents you from becoming distracted by flitting around from one task to the next and never completing any of them. This makes good sense in theory, but if you’re someone who likes planning, there’s a danger that you’ll get so involved in prioritising the tasks on your list and writing them down in the order you need to tackle them that your day will be over and you won’t actually have tackled any of them… all you will actually have achieved is a beautifully organised list.
“An idea not coupled with action will never get any bigger than the brain cell it occupied.” – Arnold Glasow
Whether you’re writing out a to-do list for your day, your month, your year, or a “things to do before I die” list, the same danger exists. Actions plans are good, but they are of no value if you never act on any of your plans. If you get too hooked-up on trying to create the “perfect” plan before taking any action on it, making plans becomes all you do. If you don’t do what you plan to do, nothing changes.
As Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Is it time you stopped planning what you’re going to do and just got on with doing it?
Don MacNaughton is a High-Performance Coach and has worked tirelessly to help clients achieve success in the world of sport and business over the past 15 years. The next, highly popular, NLP Diploma and Life Coaching Certificate course starts in September 2019. Click here for more information or to sign up.