Over Planning (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

Is your planning productive, or is it just a cover for procrastination? Find out if you're over-planning with the 7 WARNING SIGNALS listed below.

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

The most elaborate plan in history will not save you if you never put it into action. You won't know where you're going if you don't have a plan. But if you don't take action, you'll never get off the ground. Because no plan will ever be perfect, it is in your best interest to get started as soon as possible. If you don't, you might find out that your “planning” was actually procrastination disguised (sneaky devil!).

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2. You freak out at the slightest hiccup

How would you rate your ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances? No plan is impervious to life's curveballs, which strike without mercy or warning. “…don't make plans, make options,” Jennifer Aniston wisely advised. Work on your ability to improvise, because even the best plan can't save you from the fact that life's script changes every day.

3. You're afraid of change

How well do you believe businesses would fare if they were so afraid of change that they did not prepare for it? Hint: They would all have failed by now if they had not been willing to change. In the information age, the competitive landscape is changing faster than ever. Do you believe your parents or grandparents could have imagined a world in which computers were used for everything?

However, whether you like it or not, a lack of computer skills is a major liability when looking for work in this day and age. Get over your fear of change because it will occur whether you like it or not (and no, you cannot always plan for it: improvise!).

4. You obsess over insignificant details

Remember how procrastination can disguise itself as “planning”? Another common guise of the villain procrastination is an obsession with minor details. Assume you're creating a newsletter. Is it really necessary to use a dark red, a very dark red, or a very, very dark red for the title color's font?

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Assume you're writing an article. Is it worth it to agonize over every single word choice for hours on end? While there are important details in any project that require your attention, obsessing over things that don't really matter is a waste of time and effort. Remember the expression “can't see the forest for the trees?” Getting caught up in the minor details may cause you to miss the main point entirely, so proceed with caution.

5. You give up on projects

It did not go as planned. It does not meet your requirements. It isn't “good enough.”

Modify your strategy. Make it meet your requirements. And there is no such thing as “good enough,” so get rid of it.

6. You are a resident of the future

I'm sorry to break it to you, but you can't expect to be ready for everything that comes your way. You can ask as many variations of the question, “What if…?” as you want, but it won't help you. The “What If?” game is a torturous waste of time that will only stress you out about things that haven't happened yet (and probably won't). Because you can't predict the future, you might as well live in the present (because that's where the results occur).

7. Your computer files are in a state of disarray

Okay, I'll admit something: I used to be a serial planner. Several weeks ago, I took a few minutes to clean up my computer files and was astounded to discover a massive amount of budgets, schedules, spreadsheets, notes, To-Do Lists, and other organizational tools that I had completely forgotten about.

All of that sounds very productive, but given that I made those things and never used them, it was the polar opposite of productive. End of story. Your planning is pointless if you don't use it to act. Take an honest look at your hard drive and delete anything you aren't going to use.

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