One of the most dangerous mindsets for productivity is the belief that you are too busy to plan. Nothing could be more damaging to achieving your goals than not having a plan. A popular refrain goes “A goal without a plan is merely a wish.” A plan is the bridge that turns your goals into reality.
When you say you do not have time to plan, what you are really saying is:
- Your goal is not important enough for you to take the time to write down the steps needed to achieve it.
- You do not have any priorities therefore you might as well not commit to anything.
- You are willing to let others dictate what you will work on during the week.
Does that sound like what you want? Probably not. This may sound like an oxymoron but the busier you think you are, the more important it is for you to have a plan. Being busy is not always a sign of productivity. More often than not, it’s a sign of not having identified what is important.
Most people don’t plan their week in advance because they wrongly believe:
Planning requires a long time
Planning your week need not be a time-consuming task. For most people, it can be done in 30 minutes. I make my weekly plan every Sunday morning. I’m normally free at that hour and I am an early bird. I prefer to plan in the quiet morning hours because I don’t get too many distractions during that time. This might not be ideal for all people. If you have children, it’s probably more effective for you to plan your week at night after they have gone to bed.
The Plan has to be perfect
The most important function of a plan is to get the ideas out of your head. Once they are captured in paper or an electronic format, you have something to work with. A good enough plan will give your week a sense of direction. That’s better than no plan at all. More importantly, you can always edit.
Your challenge for next week is simple. Pick an ideal time and place. Write down what you plan to do in the upcoming week. Keep a record of how long it took. I assure you, it won’t be as long as you feared. Let me know how it goes.