For the procrastinator, planning can either be the solution or the obstacle. Our Procrastinator's Guide to Planning is here to help. We're going to help you to identify what you need to do and when you need to do so we can get you started on executing your plans. It's imperative that you approach planning with in a systemised way because if you are unsure of how to move past the planning phase, you may get stuck in "analysis paralysis".
If you think you might be guilty of over-planning, then maybe it's time to take a look at what's holding you back from getting started. You just need to break through the mindset barriers and get things done.
These tips will teach you how to break out of the planning paralysis. They'll help you go from just thinking about your goals to actually performing on them.
How to address the causes of over-planning:
Keep your eye on the prize. Don't allow yourself to get bogged down in the details. Figure out what your major goals are and focus on those instead.
Be adaptable. Be prepared for the fact that you may have to make changes to your plan as you go along. When something outside your control changes, make sure you're willing to adapt your plan. Being adaptable means that you’ll always find a way to roll with the punches.
Learn from what’s worked in the past. Learn from your previous successes and missteps. Don't be scared to make mistakes because we learn as we go! Remembering the lessons you learned can only help in improving your progress.
Practice mindfulness. It's good to imagine how your decisions will affect your future self. However, you must be mindful of the present too. Celebrate where you are now and don't miss out on the moment
Fight self doubt. The fear of not doing it right can cause you to procrastinate. Be your own best friend and tell yourself you can do this. After all, you’ve gotten this far and you can go further.
Kick perfectionism to the kerb. I’m sorry to say this, but it will never be perfect. You will have to accept some disappointments and failures. Imperfect action beats perfect inaction, everytime.
How to get from planning to doing:
Plan how long you’ll spend on planning. Giving yourself a time limit (and sticking to it) will drive you to just get started.
Start with the end in mind. When you are launching a marketing campaign, define a launch date, then work back from that to understand your time frames.
Chunk it down. Creating and launching a new product is less daunting when you identify the individual tasks involved. Break it down into separate projects.
Start small. To kick things off, pick out at least one achievable task to work on. Ensure that this is a low-risk endeavour with achievable goals. If you’re prone to putting off the hard tasks, build your confidence by getting some small wins under your belt.
Find your tribe. Collaborate with others as much as possible - find the right people for you and surround yourself with them. Work in teams if you can. Accountability groups are perfect for this purpose.
Set review dates. No rocket ship ever got to the moon without regular course adjustments. This is the same for your project. Regularly review progress against milestone and targets.
Enjoy the process of “doing”. There is more value in enjoying the process rather than sticking to a set plan. Engagement comes from spending your time on meaningful pursuits. Keep remembering your “why”.
It is wise to plan before taking action, but don’t let planning be the only thing you do. Ultimately you need to take steps in order to achieve your goals. By re-focusing your attention on getting work done, you will start finding success right off the bat.
Our free e-book Release has tips on how to get out from under the overwhelm.
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