The title of this article should probably be called The Importance of Planning. However, the title is more descriptive of what actually happens when someone engages in a project. Sadly, oftentimes, very little planning occurs. People are usually so anxious to get going that they dive right in with no regard to where they want to end up!
Everyone knows that if you want to be an accomplished person, or as I like to call them, a Peak Performer, you need to set goals and make a plan. Most people are pretty good at deciding they want to do something and they call that a goal. But, unfortunately, a goal without a plan is nothing more than a wish. I’ve written a lot about time management and goal setting and when it comes down to it, there is just no replacement for good planning.
I know of a software company whose chief architect has verbally stated his plan for a big version upgrade. This would be the mother of all upgrades and everyone would want it. Or, so he thinks. The problem is he made that statement four years earlier! And, there is no end in sight to how much new coding he thinks will make it better.
They call it "feature creep" in the industry. He may have a mental plan of where this new upgrade will go. Better yet, he may even have a written plan that he keeps to himself. Unfortunately, a private written plan is still a little better than a wish. When it's public, your peers will help keep you honest and they can be a great help in keeping you on track.
Planning is the most important part of the formula we call time management. There are three major reasons why people fail to create plans. Probably the number one reason most people don't like to plan is that it takes time. The biggest excuse is that “they don’t have time to plan” or “things change too much to plan.” But this thinking is significantly flawed. If the person took the time to slow down and plan, they'd find that they would be more productive in the execution phase of what they wanted to accomplish than without a plan.
In fact, research shows that for every one minute you spend in planning, you will gain ten in execution.
1 minute = 10 minutes. 10 minutes = 1 hour and 40 minutes!
To put this formula in perspective, if you could just gain an extra half-hour a day through effective time management, you would have twenty more days available to you per year! Now, of course, the more complex the project, the more detailed the plan and the longer it takes to create it. But who cares if you can achieve super productivity, right?
The second biggest reason that people don't create plans is that they are afraid to fail in keeping their timelines. But if you don't set a timeline goal, you are likely to wander aimlessly like that fellow and his software upgrade. It is this fear of failure that cripples many from taking this important step. It is far too common for people to be influenced by others who think that their goals are unrealistic or too aggressive.
Their minds automatically shift towards failure instead of visualizing success. They protect themselves by keeping their goals or plans secret or they don’t build a plan because if you don’t have a plan, how can you fail? This thinking is foolhardy as trying to drive someplace you’ve never been before without consulting a map or GPS.
Finally, the third reason people fail to plan is that they are just lazy. They think that cutting corners is going to get them to the finish line faster. There’s not much you can do about a lazy person but the other two reasons are easier to rectify.
In addition to being more productive, planning can also have some other fringe benefits:
So, hurry up and slow down. Make a plan and make yourself and become more successful!
"Finishers Are Winners!"
Dr. Richard B. Greene, DBA, SSBB, CMPE
Speaker, Author, IronMind Business Coach
© Copyright 2020 Amplifier
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Dr. Richard B. Greene is an International Speaker, Best-Selling Author, and Executive Business Coach who helps business executives get to the next level in business, their careers, and their personal lives. Through his IronMind (www.IronMindSuccess.com) acceleration program, he offers one-on-one coaching, group coaching, live seminars, and do-it-yourself development products to significantly increase levels of personal and business success. He’s been featured on radio shows and various new sites including KVCG Radio, The Miami-Herald, The Denver Post, Wall Street Select, Financial News Today, Fox, and ABC.