Planning Is Extremely Valuable

Planning Is Extremely Valuable

Most people tend to be overly optimistic planners, but then the projects take much longer and more effort than initially thought.

Our inability at planning shows in how we tend to choose immediate over long-term rewards. Life is also complicated and what we need to do to have a better future is more complex. For example, to advance a career, you may need to acquire skills, apply for new jobs, or complete key projects. Each one requires considerable planning.

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The 10% rule states that you should spend roughly 10% of the total time you anticipate for a project on planning the project. The time spent planning is often the most valuable.

At first, set aside more time for planning. Force yourself to map out the path ahead instead of just doing.

With a map drawn, the next step is your itinerary. When you will start, how many days a week you will work and when you expect to reach key milestones.

Put everything in your calendar. Many people fail to realize how many other tasks might interfere with their project, such as an upcoming vacation or other deadlines. Scheduling it can also prepare you psychologically. For example, knowing that you will have to dedicate your evenings to a project for the next six months.

Planning should tell you what you need to do for today. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Today.

A step further is to commit to particular hours of the day. For example, I will exercise right after I finish work, before dinner.

Break down everything you need to do to enable you to move forward on a project. Success requires a plan way more granular than most people make it.

For example, if your project is writing a novel, ask yourself what you're trying to do. Are you trying to reach out to a publisher, self-publish, or is it just for practice? How will you structure the story? Define the main plot? Fill out the character backgrounds?

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RELATED IDEAS

Goal-Setting

Any goal or project will usually have these basic qualities:

  • A general ambition or motivation. (e.g. learn French)
  • A specific target. (e.g.  speak fluently)
  • A time-frame or deadline. (e.g. in 6 months)
  • Constraints or methods. (e.g. practicing every day)
  • Overall impression of effort/time required. (e.g. a few hours per week of moderate effort)

A goal is then a group of different features that get bundled together. Some are necessary, others are optional, and some are better to postpone.

Set Goals in the Middle | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

Spare capacity and growth
  • Avoid thinking of spare capacity as the lack of things on your calendar. Since we’re never really doing nothing it’s rare to see people talk about cultivating it directly.
  • The amount of progress you’re able to make depends on your spare capacity. Without time and energy to invest in your personal development, your life will stay as it is.
  • Spare capacity is a neglected topic; people don't usually talk about cultivating it directly. You see articles about how to do something in only six minutes a day, rather than expanding your capacity so you have more than six minutes to do it.

The Value of Spare Capacity | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

How success happens

There are two prevailing ideas about how success happens:

  1. A challenge presents itself. You rise to the occasion, follow your inspiration that sparks a process and leads to victory.
  2. You start a business, grow it steadily, and consistently reap the benefits.

The first story is exciting, while the second is just boring. Success in the second case is primarily invisible because it doesn't feel like anything. It is also the most common form of success.

Inspiration is Overrated | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

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