There are procrastinators, there are doers, and somewhere between those two lies a vague area for planners. Despite our hopefulness, most of us seek refuge at worst as procrastinators, and at best as planners. Very rarely are we doers.
With most of our lives already calculated and with little obligation set before us, we are given the leeway to either put things off until we’re forced to do them or we can at least plan to do them at a later date. The pressure for us to complete our own tasks immediately has been diminished because that need no longer exists. The experimenters, the innovators, the tinkerers, the doers, the reliable and driven people who spark change and always deliver are nearing extinction. Recognize if you’re the person who plans to do something or if you’re the person already doing it. Are you the procrastinator/planner or are you the doer?
Planning is good, right? That’s what we’ve been told anyway, and I don’t plan on telling you otherwise because I definitely agree that it is. Instead, I want to argue the point of promptness and following through. As much as I want to consider myself a doer I’m very much a planner, but on the spectrum of procrastinators to doers I’d say I’m closer to the latter. Directly next to me is a desk calendar that I use to plan events and map out the month ahead of time. Next to that I have a journal where I document my days and also write my to-do lists for the following day. I even plan to go to sleep and wake up around the same times every day. As you can see I do a lot of planning, which helps me to get a lot more done than if I otherwise didn’t plan to. So why the sense of urgency or the notion of do it now?
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
— Alan Lakein
Although developing a plan can be crucial to bringing a project through to fruition or completing tasks, it’s easy to note that plans aren’t always bullet proof. Perhaps I should say, we aren’t always as good at fulfilling our plans as we would like to imagine. There are a lot of problems that accompany planning. Because a plan typically isn’t a physical investment it’s easy to continually push things back or to scrap them entirely. Plans tend to only be executed when we are held accountable for completing them. With small tasks or personal projects we usually don’t have anyone holding us accountable, and so a plan is pointless unless we hold ourselves accountable. I’ve encountered this problem a lot where I was constantly putting off little things and sometimes just forgetting about them. I found that the tasks I wasn’t excited about I tended to avoid or procrastinate, but regardless I still had to do them. To prevent things like that from piling up and to also hold myself accountable for personal projects I took on the mindset of do it now.
“It is my belief that you never start a job you don’t intend to finish.”
— Ron Swanson
We like to imagine that we are always productive or busy, but in reality most of our time is spent either doing nothing or planning what we should be doing, when really we should just be in a state of action. Rather than planning to do it later, plan to do things immediately. Plan to commit to tasks, and plan to complete those tasks. We will always be able to plan what to do later, but the only time to do it now is now. When you do everything now you become a person of action. Deadlines no longer creep up because you began the project immediately. Planning is also minimized, and there is no need to push back small mundane tasks because you’ve already completed them. Taking on the mindset of do it now holds you accountable for completing the small things as well as your personal projects. When something comes up, do it now.