Let’s face it: most people hate planning, and here are some of the reasons why. However, there's a way to get them to love planning and... we have the secret recipe.
1. It’s Hard to Do
Planning is a challenging. You can spend 20 years doing the same activities over and over again but if you never reflected on the time you spend on them, coming up with estimates can be very hard.
Think about it. How much time do you spend on your daily operations? Administrative stuff? Emails? Projects? It’s hard to tell, and even harder to predict.
The good news? We get better at it the more we do it.
2. They think it’s a waste of time
Planning may seem like it’s not real work.
There are so many things to do, and doing anything instead of planning seems way more productive. But it’s not. Resist the firefighter instinct that makes you act without any prior reflection. Plan carefully, and then execute more wisely. You’ll get rewarded by working on the right activities in a more efficient way. In fact, planning helps you think ahead about potential obstacles and prerequisites to what you need to do, so you’re saving time in the long run.
3. They know it will be outdated as soon as they are done
Sad truth. Plans are outdated as soon as they are done. But don’t worry, it’s the planning that matters.
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Planning is an essential activity even if plans don’t remain valid for very long. You have to accept that plans are made to be updated which doesn’t make the whole process worthless.
4. They Are Bad at It
Let’s face it: most people are bad at planning. As we stated it earlier: planning is hard to do. And remember the good news: the more we plan, the better we become.
By seeing planning as an iterative activity, it will make it less painful.
5. It creates commitment and can backfire on them
Estimating the time something will take remains just that: estimating. Not the absolute and immutable truth. Unfortunately, estimates can often create great expectations that can turn against people as they are held accountable and forced to commit to what they announced. The consequence? People will start overestimating on purpose to make sure they won’t exceed what they announced. This makes the planning process less precise and useful.⁂