Preparation and planning are important to the success of a project or task. But there’s a point where your planning can become procrastination. Here’s how to avoid over-complicating a plan:
1. Set a time limit for your planning
The planning shouldn’t take more than the task at hand. Depending on how big the project is, decide on an appropriate amount of planning time. This could range anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours.
2. Section your plan
If you have a major project, it might help if you break it into sections and plan each section as you go. This’ll likely make it feel less overwhelming, and you won’t waste hours planning the whole project at once. Another bonus of doing it this way, is that it allows you to adjust your unofficial plan (because let’s face it, even if we don’t have a written plan, we have a mental one).
3. A simple plan is a good plan
There’s no need to overcomplicate it. Consider what needs to be done and the best way to get it done. Does it need to be documented in a 10-page document full of paragraphs and graphs, or can it be made into a checklist?
4. Remember that progress is better than perfection
A perfect plan won’t necessarily lead to a perfect outcome. Remind yourself to start because any progress is better than nothing. The final product doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. Instead, it can 80% or 70%. Figure out what percentage is suitable and acceptable and work to that.
Whether you have a big project coming up or you need to plan a busy day, ensure you don’t use precious time creating an overly complicated plan that you’re likely not to follow to a tee. Make a plan that will support you in getting the task at hand done to an acceptable standard.