Saturday, December 06, 2008

Plan Hazy, Plan General

I have a plan. A plan for everything, no matter what. And, it's worthless.

There are just too many things that are out of control, too many unknowns. Shit will happen yes, but you cannot possibly know of what consistency!

So, realize that your plan is just a plan and not more important than what's actually happening around you. Realize that your Plan was just a figment of your imagination at an earlier point of time when you didn't know what was gonna happen. Plans are based on inaccurate estimates of an unknown future.

Plan Hazy, Plan General. Things will be ready when the time is ripe, and not sooner. Especially in creative endeavors, omni-plans more often than not will kill the goose.

A plan gives you a sense of importance and provides you an illusion of control. "No matter what happens, I know what to do"

Plans also give you something to put the blame on. "I failed because things didn't go according to plan." Re-read... "I failed" - that was probably the key and more true part of that statement. Things rarely, if ever, go according to plan. And if they do, then it is because you over-estimated and over-allocate something somewhere.

Time-bound plans based on sequential completion of minute tasks are the worst of all. There are people who plan like I will drink water at 10, pee at 12, drink again at 1230, pee again at 230 and so on... because they "know" that it takes 2 hours for that process. This is no way to live! You drink when you are thirsty and when you can, and pee when you wanna go and you can. Such micro-planning piles on the pressure unnecessarily and causes errors and unnecessary disappointment.

But still, people overplan - plan to a granularity that borders on the ridiculous. First A happens, then B happens, then C, then D... What exacerbates the situation is when you associate deadlines with each of them. (hmm.. interesting word...dead..line..) Isn't it enough that A,B,C,D.. happen? Why worry about the order in which they happen?

Take things as they come. Take stock and do what's possible. You can run but you can't hide from reality. You can track everything but you can't plan. Beware the OmniPlan! Beware even more the OmniMicroPlan!

- Thomas Jay Cubb
(Thanks to Grasshopper Madhu for raising the question: What should I do now? Nothing's going according to plan)