Are You Trapped in Planning? It’s Time to Let That Go and Start Doing

stop procrastination

Health and wellness are important, but health feels a little easier to explain than wellness. In general, wellness is the active process of growing aware and making positive choices that lead you toward a fulfilling and healthy life. It’s not simply being free of illness (as health might be); it is the dynamic development of growth and change.

When you procrastinate, and become stagnant, you are no longer active in your own life and that disrupts your attempts as wellness. Some people postpone all activity, but others simply get so caught up in planning that they never act. 

There are few things more exciting than a brand-new planner or a clean sheet of paper for list making. Organizing your thoughts and setting goals feels very productive. But, there is definitely a point where planning becomes another way to avoid getting started on the things that you know you need to do. If this sounds like you, the following tips should help you shift from planning your life to living it.

Set Small Goals

It is tempting to micromanage yourself and to create an intricate master plan for every task you plan to complete. But, this can lead you to become so involved in trivial details that you get bogged down. Instead, establish simple, small goals and begin working toward them immediately. When you shift your focus from the planning to the work, you will be in a position to achieve your desired result.

When you are transforming your habits, you need to focus on your system, rather than your goals. This sounds a little counterproductive after I just told you to set goals and focus on them. But, your system is the tasks that you commit to doing every day that will help you succeed in achieving your longstanding vision. For example, if you are writing a novel, you need to set tiny word count goals and establish a way to achieve those. If you want to run a 5K, you need to figure out how to put in miles every week.

Planning isn't the key to success, action is.

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Limit the Time You Spend Planning

Sometimes, planning becomes so enthralling that you spend hours doing it before you even realize it. All that time is wasted. If you can relate to this, you need to commit to limiting the amount of time you allow yourself before you move your focus to the work that needs doing.

Experts agree that planning should make up between 5 percent and 10 percent of your time. The remainder of the time should all be dedicated to executing the plan. Most people are brought up learning to plan, rather than how to do. We can make outlines, but stumble when writing papers. We can create a shopping list, but may postpone shopping or become distracted when we do it and deviate from the list.

If you truly want to complete a project, you must shift your mindset from planning to doing. It might lead you to fail, but it’s better to fail quickly, learn a lesson, and do better the next time than it is to fail at acting.

Keep Your Plans Private

It may seem easier to get things done if you turn to someone that you know and get them to hold you accountable. But, that can mean a bunch of talking about what you plan to do and not much time spent executing plans.

Psychologists have discovered telling your goals to another person decreases the likelihood of them being accomplished. In this study published in Psychological Science, ( pdf link ) scientists have shown the idea that social sharing makes us less likely to follow through with our goals.

When you share plans and goals, you get the same satisfaction that you would from achieving them. And, that can lower your motivation. Instead, avoid talking and spend your time performing.  


Author: Dorothy is an expert health blogger specializing in addictive behaviors as addictions, recovery, and treatments such as opiate abuse treatment. You can visit her official website at: http://www.addictions.com/.

Image Source: Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/en/arm-hand-desk-notebook-pen-1284248/)

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