The problem with over-planning
Over-planning doesn’t lead to action
As over-planners, the cause behind our over-planning is the belief that the more planning we do, the more successful we will be. While there is a lining of truth in this, this situation is not how it usually turns out because over-planning doesn’t lead to action. There is a point where all our planning is no longer productive and we are just wasting time and brain space. At some point we just need to start, and even if it is too early, at least we started some action.
Over-planning doesn’t allow you to be flexible
The more you plan the more attached you will become to your plan. The more time you spend creating and recreating your plan, the more indignant you will be about changing your plan. Overall, the more you over-plan, the less flexible you will be able to be when something happens that makes you go off the plan.
How to stop over-planning
Track how you spend your time
The first step is to know if you are over-planning at all. When you sit down to plan anything, take note of how you are spending your time. If you notice days, weeks or longer zoom right by without you getting past the planning stage, than you are definitely over-planning.
Be intentional with what you consume
Let’s take the example of when I first wanted to create a blog. I looked up all there was about blogging. I signed up for every blogging mailing list I could, I read every (free) ebook I could, and basically consumed a crap ton of information. Now I am definitely glad I did prior research, and learned enough about blogging, but I was basically drowning in information. At some point you just need to stop consuming and start doing. You learn more from trial and error than any ebook.
For a project such as starting a blog, there is no set time anyone is telling you that you need to have created your blog. This can lead to the easiest form of procrastinating, over-planning. Setting deadlines for yourself will ensure you only do what is necessary for each phase.
Break projects down
Breaking a big project into smaller pieces will be less overwhelming, allowing you to do less planning for each piece. Only do the planning for each specific piece so when all the pieces are planned you can get straight into the action.