Don’t plan everything: plan some, leave some

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Most of us are really fond of planning stuff out. We want to plan every day, every hour, every detail of our life. What will we be doing today morning, what we will do tomorrow evening, what is the plan for the weekend; everything is planned by us in advance. But is so much of planning necessarily a good thing? Well I don’t think so. I think it is good to a certain extent, after which it acts more of a restricting force in one’s life. We will talk more about this a little later in the article.

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Now a lot of you might disagree with me when I say too much of planning is not necessarily a good thing. Well you may be right, I am not here to prove anybody wrong. But before you come to any conclusion, understand the reasons I have based my views on and then decide for yourself. In life you don’t get success by chance and even if you do it won’t last long. Unless you are the luckiest guy alive on this planet, good things don’t just happen by chance over and over again and things just don’t fall into place again and again to make your life as close to perfect as it can get. Instead, it requires a lot of planning backed by consistent hard work and discipline if you want to shape your life into something meaningful. So don’t just leave everything to chance after reading the title of this article and then come back later blaming me for the consequences! Plan and plan ahead. But don’t plan every single detail! That’s the point I am trying to make.
What happens when you get into too much of planning?
1. The first side effect this has is that when you get into too much of planning, your focus towards action and execution takes a back seat. You start planning more than you can execute, and all it leads to is a complete waste of time which could have otherwise been utilized in something more useful. Our mind is a mysterious one which gets diverted easily. So there are cases where we have a lot of things going in our mind at the same time. This eventually leads us to plan about a lot of stuff at the same time. This is where we go wrong. Plan only what you think you can execute. It is not just the plans that you make, but how you execute them that shapes the results. So give equal importance to execution, if not more. Don’t get too ahead of yourselves, follow a step by step approach where every plan is followed by an action, and only after the plan is successfully executed you move on to the next plan.
2. The second drawback it has that it leads to a monotonous lifestyle where there is not much newness to look forward to. Planning every moment of our life makes things too predictable and too obvious. There is no element of surprise involved and thus the excitement level in your life is bound to fall down. This does not mean that because of this you won’t be able to achieve success, no there’s nothing like that. But without any excitement in life there will come a point in your life when it will get too boring and too mundane for you to continue forward. So mix it up a little, plan some, leave some. Keep some room for surprises and excitement in your life. To illustrate this point with the help of an example, think of a 3 day trip that you have to leave for in a couple of days. Now won’t it be better if instead of planning the entire itinerary in advance and pre checking online every single place you intend to visit, you just jot down the major two or three attractions and take a map along with you to improvise there and then itself? Won’t it add excitement to the entire experience?
3. The third drawback may not be applicable universally but will apply to most cases. Getting too much into planning will at times restrict you and your potential to excel. It may stop you from seeing and realizing your full potential and can lead to you having a one track approach in life. Such a behavior limits one’s creativity and imagination by not letting them face unforeseen circumstances and come up with solutions on the go. The more you go according to pre conceived plans, the less flexible and adaptable you become to any deviations from the expected. Leave room for constant modifications and improvements to help maintain the dynamic nature of any solution. A person who plans every little thing usually gets paranoid when things do not go according to the plan, and it becomes more difficult for him / her to improvise and modify things for the better instantly on the go.

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While I did cover the flip side of planning things into too much detail, it is true that everything begins and ends with a plan. You require planning to give direction to your life, but you don’t need it to stop you from spreading your wings and being the unconventional and the unorthodox one. Sometimes having no plan is the best plan that you can have! In life plan what you must, but leave a little scope for serendipity to step in and take you to places you never thought possible, be flexible enough to sometimes drop all plans, trusting your gut and wandering off in a previously unknown direction. Because, at the end of the day, its these little out of the blue excursions that really teach us what life is all about. Strive to strike that beautiful balance between planning and ‘un-planning’ and see how much more interesting things will suddenly become!