“The future is to be lived, not prearranged.”Luke Skywalker (In Star Wars Legends)
It seems counterproductive to suggest you should not spend too much time planning for the future. Productivity is all about making plans and breaking them down into as many small steps as possible so you can follow through. Let me make it clear that I am not saying you should stop making plans and just wing it. I’d never do it and I’d never ask you to try that too.
There is such a thing as a planning horizon though. If you plan too far ahead into the future, you are more likely to be wrong. Experts tend to agree that a planning horizon beyond two weeks is likely to be wrong. Most people have a pretty good idea where they will be for the rest of the week but don’t do so well when trying to predict where they will be a month or two from now. Life throws up so many complications and unexpected events that you are likely to be wrong. An extreme example of this happened early this year. People made plans. The pandemic wrecked those plans.
When making plans, the best thing to do is to make the plan only as detailed as needed at that time. For example, when creating your personal development plan for the year, you may write down several tasks that you wish to complete in each Quarter. At this point, you might not assign due dates or break them all down into individual steps. Instead, you take the goals you would like to achieve in the first Quarter and break them down into activities per month. After which, you estimate how long each activity will take and assign due dates.
As the year begins, you should constantly review your personal development plan and use it as the basis of creating your to-do list for the week. At this level, you can go into a lot more detail. As each day comes, focus on completing the tasks for that day and ignore tasks assigned to days later in the week. This laser focus is necessary if you are to achieve your goals without feeling overwhelmed by what you are yet to get done.
A year is often difficult to plan for in detail in advance. Don’t try it. Instead, focus on what you can do today. Do not delay what can be done today in hopes of getting it done tomorrow. Any task not done today becomes a double task for tomorrow. You will have to make adjustments to your schedule in order to find time for it
Do not delay what can be done today till tomorrow because any task left uncompleted today will become a double task for tomorrow. Task A which will take 30 minutes to complete. It was supposed to be done today but you chose to ignore it till tomorrow. Now it has become a double task because you will most likely have to adjust your schedule to find another 30 minutes that you were supposed to have used yesterday. The present is the only time you can act. You can have a direct impact at this very instant by what you choose to do. Focus on that and tomorrow will take care of itself.