Planning is important, but sometimes we get so caught up in organising a plan to reach our goals and get stuff done that we procrastinate reaching our goals and getting stuff done. To avoid this habit, author Neil Hughes suggests the 10 per cent rule of thumb for creating systems.
Photo by unsplash
We’ve talked about how too much planning is indistinguishable from procrastination. When you spend too much time coming up with a schedule for writing your book, you waste valuable book-writing time. Overplanning is an extra dangerous form of procrastination because it feels productive. On the other hand, you do need some kind of plan to get started with a goal, and you want to make sure it’s a good one so you’ll actually stick with it. Here’s what Hughes suggests over at Puttylike:
Systems are great, but we’ve all heard of the student who spends all their time making a revision timetable and never doing any actual revision. Escape this trap: Review your use of time. A good rule of thumb could be that no more than 10% of your time should be spent making systems; 90% should be spent using those systems. (Of course, pick a percentage that works for you. A good rule of thumb is never to blindly copy anyone else’s rules of thumb.)
It’s worth noting that you often tweak your system as you go, too. You might find that you work better in the evenings and need to move your writing sessions around, for example. You won’t actually know how to tweak things until you just get started, though. Hughes’ full post is definitely worth the read. He offers a lot more insight on how to avoid overanalysing your projects and just get started with them. Read what he has to say at the link below.