To Plan or Not to Plan?

I recently read an article about River-orientated people vs. Goal-orientated people. The difference between both is that goal orientated people may succeed, but they aren’t always as passionate about what they’re doing.

River-orientated people can work for 16 hours a day without any particular goals and still want to keep working afterwards.

To Plan or Not to Plan?
To Plan or Not to Plan?

So that leads to a point that’s been on my mind for the last few weeks, mainly inspired by the new year, but also my actions.

Why Should I Plan?

  • It helps us stay on track
  • It helps us visualize our goals
  • It keeps us motivated
  • It gives us direction

I plan most things, in fact I planned this article. Why? Because I want to get it right, the first time. Sure we can jump straight into something, do our best – but it’s not always that simple. Would you build a house without a plan? I’d hope not. Planning is great for projects that involve many variables – you have to plan for as many different scenarios as you can, but it can also cater for more simple actions, like grocery shopping. A shopping list is a good example of a simple plan, it helps us stay on track, it gives us direction, and ultimately we save a lot of time and money.

When Should I Plan?

I’ll say this now, planning is not the ‘be all, end all’. For the last week or so, I’ve been waking up without my day planned, purely for experimental purposes.. Alright, maybe I was getting a bit lazy. I realized that when I was doing something I considered important, like writing a blog post – I’d do it faster than ever. Why? I’m not sure, but I believe it has something to do with the fact that I didn’t give it a ‘time bracket’. Unfortunately, not planning my days caused me to be less productive as a whole, because I was wasting more time on other things.

Planning is a very subjective thing, it depends a lot on whether you’re goal orientated or river orientated, (you can be both, actually). I might plan something that would seem ridiculous to plan in your perspective.

But here’s a few tips that I use myself for knowing when to plan:

  • Plan in order of importance.
    … Important presentation coming up? Plan.
  • Plan when you’re unmotivated.
  • Plan when you’ve got ideas.

… and when not to plan:

  • Don’t plan when you want to just ‘have fun’ doing something.
  • Don’t plan your leisurely activities, just do them.
  • Don’t plan your life. You can’t!

You’re the person who has to work out when to plan things, and when not to plan things. I honestly believe that it’s important for everyone to plan a little, whether you’re goal-orientated or not. It’s a great tool to help you succeed in different areas and possibly change your life for the better.

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