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Failing to plan vs analysis paralysing

josh_ting

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This is an interesting experience which I've had and I'm wondering whether or fastlaner have had similar experiences.

So I started doing webdesign a few months bad and things are going ok, taking on clients, getting projects done. But things are pretty adhoc alongside balancing med school and a sales job I have. I would plan the next day the night before. I realised that I have no trouble taking action, but these actions don't seem to go align towards a greater purpose, as I was planning on a daily basis, a very zoomed-in view. To be honest,I'm just winging it as things come in.

So these last few days I decided, I am going to plan for the year, then break it down into quarters and months, then weeks, then days so that my daily actions are aligned. But an interesting happened, I became so confused and paralyzed about what to do next. Analysis paralysis I guess. Now I dont even know what to focus on tomorrow.

I know they say failing to plan is planning to fail, but why is it that the planning process paralyzes people?
 

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alexkuzmov

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This is an interesting experience which I've had and I'm wondering whether or fastlaner have had similar experiences.

So I started doing webdesign a few months bad and things are going ok, taking on clients, getting projects done. But things are pretty adhoc alongside balancing med school and a sales job I have. I would plan the next day the night before. I realised that I have no trouble taking action, but these actions don't seem to go align towards a greater purpose, as I was planning on a daily basis, a very zoomed-in view. To be honest,I'm just winging it as things come in.

So these last few days I decided, I am going to plan for the year, then break it down into quarters and months, then weeks, then days so that my daily actions are aligned. But an interesting happened, I became so confused and paralyzed about what to do next. Analysis paralysis I guess. Now I dont even know what to focus on tomorrow.

I know they say failing to plan is planning to fail, but why is it that the planning process paralyzes people?
Planning, like any other skill, takes time to get good at.

A plan for a period of time is meaningless.
So when you say Ill plan for the year, thats when your trouble starts.
You plan for a goal, determine what actions you need to take to achieve that goal and only then you plan your time to do the actions.
Goal first, actions second, time management third.
 

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Nick Kadutskyi
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May 8, 2021
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This is an interesting experience which I've had and I'm wondering whether or fastlaner have had similar experiences.

So I started doing webdesign a few months bad and things are going ok, taking on clients, getting projects done. But things are pretty adhoc alongside balancing med school and a sales job I have. I would plan the next day the night before. I realised that I have no trouble taking action, but these actions don't seem to go align towards a greater purpose, as I was planning on a daily basis, a very zoomed-in view. To be honest,I'm just winging it as things come in.

So these last few days I decided, I am going to plan for the year, then break it down into quarters and months, then weeks, then days so that my daily actions are aligned. But an interesting happened, I became so confused and paralyzed about what to do next. Analysis paralysis I guess. Now I dont even know what to focus on tomorrow.

I know they say failing to plan is planning to fail, but why is it that the planning process paralyzes people?

So I started doing webdesign a few months bad and things are going ok, taking on clients, getting projects done.
What kind of design do you do? Do you special in some niche or you are a generalist?

But things are pretty adhoc alongside balancing med school and a sales job I have
Doing med school, sales job and web design together is hard! My first job was a dentist but I started learning web development and programming during my internship and then moved to IT with time.

but these actions don't seem to go align towards a greater purpose, as I was planning on a daily basis, a very zoomed-in view
I am having exactly the same problem time to time. To solve that I keep my long term goals handy so I can remind myself where my focus should be.

I became so confused and paralyzed about what to do next. Analysis paralysis I guess. Now I dont even know what to focus on tomorrow.
Earlier you mentioned that you only decide that you will plan for the year, but you didn't do that. Try to actually plan for year, quarter, month, week. That will take time but it will clarify many things for you.

I know they say failing to plan is planning to fail, but why is it that the planning process paralyzes people?
In my case I undergo analysis paralysis time to time. But once everything in its own places I feel very confident and don't feel that I am missing out.
I think you should finish that planning process. That will actually motivate you in your daily activities, because you know that it leads to something great that you want in the future.

My approach is to plan using Objectives and Key results (OKRs). Basically I setup objectives for the year, then add key results to them. After that I go and plan current quarter according to the key results for that year. Then I plan current month according to key results for the quarter.
This helps me to think what to do during current week, and knowing that I can decided what to do today.
Once I have a set of goals/tasks for today I try to time block that. Sometime I time block the whole week ahead so I am sure that I have enough time for a particular project.

This will involve a lot of work to setup but it kind of helps to keep everything aligned to your long term goals. Additionally you can go and think in a longer perspective 3-5 years on top of annual OKRs.

Each goal I am trying to clarify as much as possible and setup specific projects that should help achieve that.

But, even having this, I have bad days time to time. For instance if some unexpected thing happens and breaks my weekly schedule. Sometimes I need to clarify more some of my goals according to changing circumstances so that might takes time too and slows me down because I become "paralyzed" in relation to that goals which need clarification. Sometimes I overestimate my abilities and workload that might break a schedule. Because of those problems I think I learned to replan faster but I still might get into a pleasure island of "organizing and planning stuff".

Also, I would definitely say that I am organizational freak. For instance in 2019 I tracked every minute of my life for a year to see where my time goes, and I spend a lot of time on planning in general. An interesting thing, that when I took a psychological test about 5 big personality traits it showed me that I am very high in orderliness (93 percentile) which is dictating my organizational freakiness.
 

josh_ting

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Planning, like any other skill, takes time to get good at.

A plan for a period of time is meaningless.
So when you say Ill plan for the year, thats when your trouble starts.
You plan for a goal, determine what actions you need to take to achieve that goal and only then you plan your time to do the actions.
Goal first, actions second, time management third.
This was a big breakthrough for me, thanks @alexkuzmov
 

josh_ting

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What kind of design do you do? Do you special in some niche or you are a generalist?
So I specialise in just helping healthcare professionals
Doing med school, sales job and web design together is hard! My first job was a dentist but I started learning web development and programming during my internship and then moved to IT with time.
Awesome, yeah I basically build the website from start to finish, so webdesign, copywriting, then webdevelopment. Learning to outsource and free up a bit of my time now.
I am having exactly the same problem time to time. To solve that I keep my long term goals handy so I can remind myself where my focus should be.
Yea its funny because daily activities and doing stuff gives you the datapoints you need to plan. But again, it means that I am sometimes reactive instead of proactive and not on the critical path. Keeping busy but not pushing the needle forward.
Earlier you mentioned that you only decide that you will plan for the year, but you didn't do that. Try to actually plan for year, quarter, month, week. That will take time but it will clarify many things for you.
Yep, I think I will break down a big goal into smaller chunks, then milestones, then steps and tasks! But yeah, I realised that without doing so, I lack clarity, and clarity will give me speed.
My approach is to plan using Objectives and Key results (OKRs). Basically I setup objectives for the year, then add key results to them. After that I go and plan current quarter according to the key results for that year. Then I plan current month according to key results for the quarter.
Wow this is actually awesome, never considered that. Will look further into that thanks.
I am having exactly the same problem time to time. To solve that I keep my long term goals handy so I can remind myself where my focus should be.
Yea, I think its hard for me like I'm at the beginning stages where I'm still trying to figure out the processes, so hard to plan but I need to plan haha.
 

CruxisKnight

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Jan 7, 2021
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This is an interesting experience which I've had and I'm wondering whether or fastlaner have had similar experiences.

So I started doing webdesign a few months bad and things are going ok, taking on clients, getting projects done. But things are pretty adhoc alongside balancing med school and a sales job I have. I would plan the next day the night before. I realised that I have no trouble taking action, but these actions don't seem to go align towards a greater purpose, as I was planning on a daily basis, a very zoomed-in view. To be honest,I'm just winging it as things come in.

So these last few days I decided, I am going to plan for the year, then break it down into quarters and months, then weeks, then days so that my daily actions are aligned. But an interesting happened, I became so confused and paralyzed about what to do next. Analysis paralysis I guess. Now I dont even know what to focus on tomorrow.

I know they say failing to plan is planning to fail, but why is it that the planning process paralyzes people?
The analysis of paralysis for me is founded on good ground because if I get that feeling then that means there is just more information I need to know before feeling comfortable. The way I think about it, starting a business is like getting a degree in real life. It takes 4 years to absorb all that information for graduates to get a job and start making money. Then for real life businesses who risk your own resources, I felt I needed that 4 year reading and research before knowing the exact steps to take to produce positive results.
 

josh_ting

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The analysis of paralysis for me is founded on good ground because if I get that feeling then that means there is just more information I need to know before feeling comfortable. The way I think about it, starting a business is like getting a degree in real life. It takes 4 years to absorb all that information for graduates to get a job and start making money. Then for real life businesses who risk your own resources, I felt I needed that 4 year reading and research before knowing the exact steps to take to produce positive results.
Yea actually, this a great way to think about analysis paralysis, just a feedback mechanism that there's more to know
 

WJK

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This is an interesting experience which I've had and I'm wondering whether or fastlaner have had similar experiences.

So I started doing webdesign a few months bad and things are going ok, taking on clients, getting projects done. But things are pretty adhoc alongside balancing med school and a sales job I have. I would plan the next day the night before. I realised that I have no trouble taking action, but these actions don't seem to go align towards a greater purpose, as I was planning on a daily basis, a very zoomed-in view. To be honest,I'm just winging it as things come in.

So these last few days I decided, I am going to plan for the year, then break it down into quarters and months, then weeks, then days so that my daily actions are aligned. But an interesting happened, I became so confused and paralyzed about what to do next. Analysis paralysis I guess. Now I dont even know what to focus on tomorrow.

I know they say failing to plan is planning to fail, but why is it that the planning process paralyzes people?
You're making it into a forbidding mountain rather than making a plan for a simple next step. Here's the question I ask myself every day, several times a day. "What can I do at this moment to further my goal of ____?" It can be a baby step. It can be thinking of what I should do next. It can be a doable step. When I finish that step, I ask myself, "What can I do..."
I, like you, find many huge goals to be overwhelming. I freeze. Your reaction is normal. When I feel that way, I stop and look at it again. Then I break down that huge goal into smaller, more manageable goals. Each one can have several moving parts that can be tended to without taking on the whole thing all at once. As each smaller sub-goal is in the rearview mirror, I know they can collectively lead to completing the important parts of the huge "master" goal.
For example, if you want to be financially independent, there are several parts to achieving that huge goal. You must do a lot of savings. You must first restrict and then retire any of your debt. You must create a stable, dependable income that doesn't depend on a traditional job. You must learn how and then become a successful investor. And, most of all, you must learn to be a good steward of your money. If you try to do all of those activities at the same time, you'll be overwhelmed. It's a recipe for failure.
 

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