Why do some people hate planning?
How to get organized when you can’t stand making plans in advance?
When I talk with people around me, may they be coworkers, friends or family, I feel like I’m the only planning freak out there: that’s a fact, most people hate planning. And here are some of the reasons why people hate planning, along with some advice to get organized even though you hate making plans.
5 reasons why we hate organization
1. It’s hard
Planning is not easy. It’s actually pretty hard for most people.
Planning ahead (projects, events or anything) is about making decisions for the future. And we all know how making decisions can be exhausting!
So a lot of us find a way out of making too many decisions by NOT planning and postponing the moment we will have to decide.
If we hate planning so much, it’s probably because making decisions for a future we can’t predict is kind of scary. When we make plans, we commit to do something at a moment we’re not sure will turn out to be the right time for us. i mean, how to know if you’ll want to have dinner with friends in two weeks from now? You may be looking forward to it at the moment you plan it, but be super exhausted and just feeling like spending your evening on the couch that night.
Another reason why we hate planning so much can be FOMO (fear of missing out). Some people don’t like to plan things, simply because they want their options to remain open as long as possible, in case some opportunity presents itself.
Who wants a schedule packed with too many things? Probably no one.
And that’s just for the events planning part of the problem.
If people hate planning ahead and book events in their calendars, they find project planning a lot harder. Planning tasks ask for skills that is not the easiest to develop: having clear goals that will guide the decision making process, and being able to identify what needs to be done, and at what time.
If I don’t know if there’s any way to fix FOMO, but good news is that the more we plan projects and tasks, the better we become at doing it.
2. It’s a waste of time
People often say that planning is a waste of time: why spending a couple of hours planning when we could do some real work instead?
That’s the firefighter instinct talking. We tend to rush to take action instead of taking the time to reflect on WHAT we should do and HOW we should be doing it.
The planning process involves a lot of reflection. And it will actually help you to:
- Set clear priorities
That means that you’ll make decisions and prioritize what you have on your plate. You’ll then be able to work on the right things and be productive instead of just being busy.
- Decide on the best way to do things
The process of planning itself will force you to establish a strategy to achieve your goals or just execute a complex task effectively. As Einstein said “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”
- Think ahead of obstacles and roadblocks
Thinking of your project before you take action and plan out is a great way to make sure that you think ahead of all the obstacles and roadblocks that could slow you down. And plan in order to avoid them.
In the long run, planning things is far from being a waste of time: it could actually help you save time and move faster towards your goals.
Planning is all about clarifying your goals and project,
and clear the way ahead to maximizes your chances to succeed.
3. Plans are outdated as soon as they’re done
If you ever planned things in your life, may they be small things, you know that’s the truth: a plan is not for very long.
But as we just established in the point above, it’s not really the plan itself that matters, but more the process of planning itself.
“Plans are nothing, planning is everything” Dwight D. Eisenhower
Plans are not valid for very long. Unexpected events, wrong estimation of the time needed and a hundred of other things will soon make your plan totally irrelevant if you don’t make sure to update it regularly. Still, planning is essential if you want to achieve your goals.
We just have to accept that the only constant in a plan is change. We make plans that will need to be regularly updated if we want them to remain useful.
4. It requires skills we don’t have (yet)
Most people are very bad at planning things: they would miss key elements that should be included in the plan, or underestimate the time needed to achieve tasks.
But to fair, planning require specific skills. Skills that we’re not taught.
The tools we use to plan, may they be paper planners or online calendars give us ways to get organized, but they don’t teach us HOW to plan and make decisions.
And if no one explains you how to do things, that’s no wonder that you end up being bad at it.
If you ask me, planning should be one the basic skills we learn at school. We all need to plan things eventually, either in our personal or professional lives.
Sadly, most of us don’t have this chance. But good news is that as about any skill, we can learn by doing. So the more we plan, the best we get at it, until it starts to be an almost enjoyable process
5. It creates commitment
When we plan things, and even more when we go public with our plans, it creates commitment. Commitment to your boss, your colleagues, your friends, your family… And commitment to yourself.
And with commitment comes expectations and the fear of failing. But of course no one wants to be consider unable or unreliable if the initial plan doesn’t work out.
So we tend to not avoid making plans that could backfire at us.
Can you relate?
If so, here are some tricks to try to get organized even if you HATE planning
How to get into organization?
Focus on the benefits
Planning things comes with a lot of benefits, like saving money and time.
Think of this plane tickets you could have buy for half the price you paid if you planned this trip earlier in advance.
You don’t need to plan everything!
Don’t think of planning things as booking every hour of your schedule with a defined activity.
Just plan the essentials, and leave room for opportunities and down time.
Sort out your long and short term priorities. Then, plan once a week: schedule events and appointments and work around them to add tasks you absolutely need to take care off. The remaining spots of your schedule can stay empty and be used depending on what you feel like doing at that time.
Make planning a part of your daily routine
Taking 5 minutes to craft your to-do list and organize your day can be a game changer for your productivity and peace of mind. That’s a very small effort to make. So why not taking that time?
Getting organized don’t come naturally when we hate planning: it requires to make some efforts. In the end, it’s all about growing a new habit. But having planning and organization skills is key if you want to achieve your goals. In the end, planning things will help you save time and live a more intentional life!
Hey! I’m Claire.
I’m a freelance innovation consultant, and founder of Minimal.Plan.
I believe that moving towards your goals one day at a time can help you live a more intentional and happy life.
That’s why I share planning, time management and motivation tips on this blog, and design tools to help you get organized to conquer your goals!