Are you spending to much time Planning for 2021?

With 2021 less than a week away, it’s safe to say most people are fucking PUMPED to leave 2020 in the rear-view mirror. Between The Rona, the job market, no sports, no social gatherings, no seeing grandparents, etc. who wouldn’t be excited about a year where things can only go up? That said, this is the time most start to plan out their goals in hopes of big changes to come. While planning is definitely important and can save you a ton of time and energy, one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that a lot of people (myself included) can take too much time planning and not enough time doing.

Planning can be fun for people. It’s where you start to paint the picture of your vision. It’s where you look at where your life is, where you want it to go, and you get to fill in the gaps that will help you get there. But too many people fall into this perpetual cycle of planning, where they plan, review the plan, restructure the plan when the find holes, and then audit again to find holes, and round and round they go while they neglect the single most important step that will get them to their goals – ACTION. I’ve been there!

Unfortunately, a lot of this has to do with what formal education teaches us. We’re looking for that “A+ Plan” so that if my plan is perfect, I can avoid any discomfort or embarrassment. News Flash: As soon as you start to implement your plan it’s going to get punched in the fucking mouth no matter what line of work you are in. 

Planning versus Action

This weeks topic is Planning vs Action and the importance of the two.  We discuss what percentage we feel should be put towards both in order to succeed toward your goals.  We talk in depth about paralysis by analysis and the Pareto Principal as they go hand in hand with this topic.

Listen to our Podcast on Planning vs Action HERE

So what do I need to know about planning? How much time do I spend on planning? How do I effectively plan? We’ve got you covered. Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before you get started with planning: 

  1. What have I done and how did it go? 
    1. We call this Retrospective Planning. The most significant leaps you will take in your planning come through auditing what you’ve done and figuring out what you can do better.  

  2. What’s my ONE Thing? 
  1. If you haven’t read The One Thing by Gary Keller, we suggest you do so immediately. In his book he has you ask yourself a very simple, yet profound question before you get your day/week/month/year started – “What’s the one thing I can do, such that by doing it everything else is easier or unnecessary?”
  2. This is THE most effective way to prioritize. Once you figure out your ONE Thing add it to the beginning of your plan, then ask the question again until your schedule is full. 

  3. How much time am I spending planning?
  4. We like to go with a 90:10 ratio. No more than 10% of your time should be spent planning. Here’s a template you can used based on a 40-hour work week.

                                                              i.      1 Hour every Sunday to plan your week ahead

                                                             ii.      15 minutes M-F before you start your day

                                                           iii.      15 minutes M-F before you end your day for Auditing (Retrospective Planning)

                                                           iv.      That’s a total of 3.5 hours per week. Save that extra 30-minutes each week to use at the end of each month where you’ll spend an 1-2 hours auditing your past month and planning the upcoming month 

One of the biggest lies we’re told growing up is that “Knowledge is power”, which is bullshit. Knowledge is completely useless without ACTION. APPLIED KNOWLEDGE is where the real power is. Yes, planning is important and it will help get us to where we want to go faster, but at the end of the day, if you’re spending all of your time on the sidelines measuring the track, analyzing the turf, and trying to predict the weather, you’re never going to get into the race.

Written by Matt Kresko!