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To-Do Don’ts: Why Over-planning is Harming Your Productivity


To-Do Don’ts: Why Over-planning is Harming Your Productivity

Being organized at work is often considered a positive trait of a great employee — but is there such a thing as being too organized?

While planning certainly has its place in the office, there can be detrimental affects if it gets out of hand.

How do you know when you’ve crossed the line from productive to prohibitive? Here are some signs that you may be over-planning — and impacting your career.


You’re all talk and no action

Do you often find yourself talking to anyone who will listen to all the fantastic plans you’re tackling — but then never have a finished product or achievement to show for it?

It’s common for over-planners to get so caught up in the organization process that they never actually move into the doing stage of the plan.

Instead, they find themselves tackling a brand-new plan, and leaving the old one behind and repeating it all over again.

Most of your time is spent planning

Your day revolves around to-do lists, calendars, planners, reminders, and post-it notes.

You spend hours every day meticulously planning every stage of a project — instead of actually working on the project.

By the time you are ready to dive into work, you’re likely to feel rushed because so much of your day has been eaten up with planning.

A snag in your schedule ruins everything

Is every moment of your day planned? Do you know when you’re getting into the office, when you’re responding to your emails, when you’re writing your report?

Every second is accounted for, with zero flexibility.

What happens when there’s heavy traffic on your morning commute or a colleague doesn’t get their section of your project in on time?

Suddenly, your whole day has to be reworked because you failed to leave room for the unexpected.

When life doesn’t go as planned, you feel like a failure

No one is perfect; we all have bad days, or make mistakes.

When life happens, it’s best to keep moving forward. If you’ve devoted yourself to a rigid plan, you find yourself feeling like a failure.

The plan was perfect— so if something went wrong, you convince yourself it must have been you that went wrong.

If you read this and realized that you are indeed an over-planner, don’t worry; now that you know, you can start to change your perspective — and help your career in the process.

Try and be a bit more flexible, action-oriented, aware of the time you spend planning, and forgiving of yourself. Adopt a new type of planning where you ease up on yourself, go with the flow a little more, and learn to balance organization with realistic expectations.