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7 WARNING Signs You May Be Over-Planning

7 WARNING Signs You May Be Over-Planning

Is your planning productive or it is merely procrastination in disguise? Find out with the following 7 WARNING signs you may be over-planning.

1. You plan a lot (and have little to show for it).

The most elaborate plan in the history of time can’t save you if you never actually act on it. Without a plan, you won’t know where you’re going. But without action, you’ll never leave the starting line. No plan will ever be perfect, so it is in your best interest to move forward as soon as you can. If you don’t, you could discover that your “planning” was really procrastination in disguise (sneaky devil!).

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2. You freak out over the slightest curve-ball.

How would you rate your ability to adjust to unexpected situations? No plan is bullet-proof from life’s curve-balls, which come without mercy or warning. Jennifer Aniston wisely said, “…don’t make plans, make options.” Work on your ability to improvise, because the best plan ever cannot save you from the fact that the script of life changes every single day.

3. You are scared of change.

How well do you think businesses would do if they were so scared of change that they didn’t prepare for it? Hint: They would have all failed by now without an openness to change. The competitive landscape changes faster than ever in the information age. Do you think your parents or grandparents could have imagined living in a world where computers are used for every thing? But like it or not, a lack of computer skills is a major liability if you’re looking for work in this day and age. Get over your fear of change, because it is happening whether you like it or not (and no, you cannot always plan for it: improvise!).

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4. You obsess with minor details.

Remember how procrastination has a way of disguising itself in the costume of “planning?” An obsession with minor details is another common guise of the villain procrastination. Let’s say you’re making a newsletter. Does it really matter if you go with the dark red or the very dark red or the very, very dark red for the title color’s font? Or let’s say you’re writing an article. Is it worth agonizing for hours-on-end over every single word choice? While any project does have key details that require your attention, obsessing over things that really don’t matter is a waste of time and effort. Remember the saying, “Can’t see the forest for the trees?” Getting caught up in the little stuff could make you miss the entire point, so tread carefully.

5. You abandon projects.

It didn’t go according to plan. It doesn’t meet your criteria. It’s not “good enough.”

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Change the plan. Make it fit your criteria. And there is no “good enough,” so knock it off.

6. You live in the future.

I hate to break it to you, but you cannot be prepared for everything that comes your way. You can ask as many variations of the question, “What if…?” as your heart desires, but it will do you no good. The “What If?” game is a torturous waste-of-time that will merely stress you out over things that haven’t even happened (and probably won’t). Since you can’t predict the future, you might as well live in the present (because that’s where results happen).

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7. Your computer files are a mess.

Okay, I have to confess something here: I used to be a serial planner. Several weeks ago, I took a few minutes to clean up my computer files and was horrified to discover a massive amount of budgets, schedules, spreadsheets, notes, To-Do Lists, and more organizational tools I had forgotten about. I know all of that sounds super productive, but given the fact that I made those things and never actually used them, it was the opposite of productive. Your planning is useless if you’re not using it to act: end of story. Take an honest look at your hard drive and get rid of anything you’re not going to use (and RESIST the urge to take part in any further faux-planning!).

Are you guilty of over-planning? Tell me all about it in the comments.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

Less Thinking, More Doing: Develop the Action Habit Today Why Instant Gratification is the Villain of Success How To Be Happy Alone and Enjoy Life Why You Procrastinate: 7 Possible Reasons You Can’t Get Anything Done 9 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Bad Day

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Last Updated on July 2, 2020

7 Ways To Stop Being Lazy And Start Getting Things Done

7 Ways To Stop Being Lazy And Start Getting Things Done

“I’m going to take a lazy day today.”

Okay, there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s called a day off, and it’s a magical thing.

But when every day is a “lazy day,” there’s a problem. Sometimes we just need a kick in the butt to get us up and moving, so we can handle our business effectively.

Often, laziness has a deeper and darker cause that we don’t want to think about, let alone acknowledge. Here are 7 ways to stop being lazy and become more productive.

1 Find Out the Root Cause

Are you burned out from working 27 hours a day, 9 days a week since before you can remember? This is a signal that you need a rest or a change.

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Human beings are not meant to work all the time. Our paleolithic ancestors worked, on average, about 20 hours a week. (Yeah, we members of modern society are getting hosed.) Maybe you feel overwhelmed, are afraid to fail at the task, or you just don’t want to do the task; these are discrete problems with separate solutions.

Finding out the root cause of your laziness can help you make the changes you need to make to be a more effective and energetic person.

2. Find Your Passion for the Work

You started doing what you do for a reason, but sometimes, even the tasks we love the most can become dreary and mundane. When this happens, remind yourself why you started doing it in the first place.

You must have had a passion for it at some point, or you wouldn’t be bothering with it. Remind yourself of the good points of the work, not just the parts that suck.

3. Break up Your Time

People work more efficiently when they have ample rest time. Working in short, focused bursts is far more effective than trying to slog through the task all at once. Not only will you be happier with the end product, but you’ll feel better and more energized after completing it.

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Learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

4. Look at Ways You Can Do the Task More Efficiently

When possible, work smarter instead of harder.

We’ve already talked about why working hard doesn’t work as well. If you can find a better way to do the task, you’re more likely to enjoy it because you’re not simply performing the task by rote, but rather, using your creativity and imagination to their best effect. This will make you feel better about the job and probably enjoy it more, too.

Try these 12 Ways to Work Smart.

5. Ask for Help or Support

Sometimes, we just need a little extra backup. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help from a more motivated coworker, friend, or family member. This is a useful way to get you up and moving, because they will motivate you to do the task.

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At the same time, you may be doing them a favor by motivating them to work harder. A little friendly competition never hurt anyone!

Learn How to Ask for Help When You’re Afraid To Do So.

6. Think About Why You Don’t Want to Do the Task

This sounds like a rehash of number 1, but it’s really not.

Some jobs we don’t want to do because they’re just not fun. Mowing the lawn, cleaning the house, or getting under the car and replacing the alternator all have one thing in common. People don’t like doing these jobs because they take time and energy, they’re not pleasant, and we know that sooner or later, we’ll just be doing the same thing all over again.

However, instead of thinking about why you don’t want to do the task, think about the benefits. Your car will run better, the Homeowners’ Association won’t be leaving you a nasty gram for the sixth time this month, and your house will look nicer and feel more welcoming.

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By turning a negative into a positive, you’ll find your outlook about these tasks will be more positive too.

7. Force Yourself

Sometimes there’s just no getting around it. All the good advice and wishes in the world won’t make the job look any better. In these cases, you need to remember you’re an intelligent, mature member of Homo Sapiens, and get off your butt.

While it may not be fun at the time, you can look back on the task you did later and say, “Yeah. I did that.” You shouldn’t have to force yourself out of bed every morning (this is a warning sign of depression that you should NOT ignore), but every once in a while, we need to force ourselves to do something we just don’t want to do.

Believe it or not, you’ll be proud of yourself once the task is done.

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Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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