What Happens When You Stop Planning?

If you were to google planning, you would get about 3,420,000,000 results. (👈yes, I really did google it) It would seem that it’s a pretty popular topic in need of one’s assistance. What exactly is it that we need so much help with, when it comes to planning? And what do you think would happen if we stopped planning?

First, let’s take a look at what planning even is. I like Widipedia’s explanation – Planning is the process of thinking about the activities required to achieve a desired goal. It is the first and foremost activity to achieve desired results.

The process of thinking, riiiight….

Ohhh, that certainly connects the dots and explains a lot! (she thinks…) The process of thinking about the activities required…that little piece right there is why so many never really get past this stage!

We sure love the process of thinking about the activities required, in order to achieve our goal, don’t we? Most can run through about a billion and a half scenarios of “what if?” before snapping back to the original and actual task of planning! 

The planning problem

The problem with just planning is that if we’re not careful, we can overwhelm ourselves with all of those billion and a half “what if?” scenarios. 

Now, you and I both know that there’s no need to provide examples of these “what if” scenarios, as they are typically front and center the moment the thought planning even comes to mind!

Once the overwhelm sets in, we then begin to doubt our original plan. That doubt begins to increase into actual fear. The next thing you know, you are now a member of the paralysis by analysis club! Hence, nothing’s getting done, let alone achieved.

It seems we just don’t know how to stop planning.

Lay down those perfect plans

We need to just stop the planning already!!! Well, not exactly. Just the part where we are obsessed with planning for “perfection”.

You see, we tend to make plans with our version of the perfect ending in mind, but ummm, hello…we live in REALITY, so that little vision of perfection is highly unlikely. 

Yet, we can’t seem to let go of our “perfect plans” can we? The unfortunate result of hanging on to our visions of perfect plans, endings or outcomes is that we make little to no progress as a result. 

The experiment

Here’s a concept that I myself only recently embraced. And that concept is simply this: What if you treated your next plan as an experiment instead of a plan? 

Think of how much pressure you would take off of yourself by leaving the “ending” open. Isn’t just the idea of experimenting more fun than trying to piece together and protect a perfect ending? 

I’m in total agreement with you that while experimenting over planning for perfection sounds great, but it begs the question, how?

Well, for one, you could take each goal and give it a list of “what if I tried this” options. Now instead of some overwhelming, perfect plan, you’re stressed about following you now have a menu of options to try. (ahem, experiment)

The best part about experimenting is that you are creating a different ending instead of expecting one.  Now, that’s way more exciting than trying to execute a “perfect plan” don’t you think?

Just as in any experiment, you note the results. Determine which of the results you will keep and repeat, the ones you’ll slightly tweak for next time, and those that will be a lesson in what definitely not to do..

The plan now becomes as simple as putting the time and energy aside so that you can create your menu options for experimenting your way to achieving your next goal!

working on less planning and more experimenting right there with ya,

Listen to the podcast version! It’s episode #61

Watch the YouTube version


Once you wrap your brain around this concept of less planning and more experimenting, you may just benefit from The 3M Method FREE printable


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