Breaking Out Of Over planning Tendencies

Breaking Out Of Over planning Tendencies

Authored By Emily
We all like to plan ahead and it’s great because it helps us get organized, save time and have a purpose. However, some people have the tendency to over think and consequently over-plan. Over planning is the act of excessive planning. Individuals who over plan tend to have multiple plans for the same task. They put in place so many contingencies and incidentals even in the most unnecessary of situations.

What Causes Over planning?

Experts tell us that over planning is largely caused by anxiety. Individuals who over plan are basically worried about the future and therefore making excessive plans gives them a false sense of preparedness. The irony is that life is unpredictable and as much as we set goals, situations and occurrences often force us to make adjustments to those goals. Healthy planning involves creating goals that are a reflection of what you wish to achieve in the future. Realistic plans help get you closer to those goals.

How Do You Identify Over Planning?

How would you tell if you’re an over planner? Might you be over planning subconsciously? Below are some indicators that you might be over planning.
  1. If you make extensive plans but your results don’t match the planning, you’re most likely over planning. Realistic plans help us accomplish our goals or come close to it. If your plan does not yield any results, chances are it was merely a disguise for procrastination, especially if it happens time and again.
  2. Life is highly unpredictable and can throw things at you at the worst moments forcing you to revise and make adjustments to your plans. If life’s unpredictability freaks you out to the point where you get stuck trying to follow a plan that no longer applies to your current situation, then you have a problem with over planning. Planning is great but you shouldn’t be rigid. If life throws unprecedented things your way, you should be able to quickly readjust your position and create a plan that works for your current situation.
  3. Constantly quitting on projects. Most people who quit on projects often site that things didn’t go as planned. The reality is, things didn’t go as they planned. Making unrealistic rigid plans will most likely cause you a lot of frustration and in many cases force you to give up before your goals are accomplished. If a plan is not working all you have to do is change it, or make adjustments to it.
  4. If you find yourself obsessing over minor details when creating a plan, then you’re most certainly over planning. For instance, if you’re planning a party and need table napkins in blue, why stress over which blue? Dark blue, darker blue, very dark blue? Is it worth spending a huge amount of time dwelling on the shade of color for napkins while there are bigger issues that probably demand your attention? While it’s important to be keen on details, obsessing over things that don’t really matter only costs you time and effort that would have been better spent elsewhere.
  5. If you live in the future, you’re definitely over planning. It doesn’t matter how many plan A’s, B’s or C’s you make for the ‘what if’s’ that come your way in future. The truth of the matter is, none of us has any control of what happens in the future. You can make plans and set goals and start working towards them, but you can’t control what happens along the way.
  6. Over planners also tend to get very frustrated and in some instances depressed when things don’t go their way. This can be very debilitating making you ineffective in everything you do.

How To Get Over Your Over Planning Tendencies

  1. Set specific goals with a realistic timeline. For instance, if your goal is to lose weight in a year’s time, you first need to find out given your body type, eating habits and your desired method for weight loss, how much you can realistically lose within that time period. If your only form of exercise is Pilates, you cannot expect to lose weight as rapidly as someone who is also incorporating cardio and strengthening exercises. It’s simply preposterous.
  2. Be flexible. Make plans and follow them through diligently but should something unexpected happen, be ready and willing to make adjustments to your plan. And then carry on swiftly with the new plan. Quitting when things don’t work is not an option.
  3. Set your own goals without external influence. Unfortunately, we are living at a time where people flaunt their lives and successes on social media and you might get caught up wanting to accomplish what others have or seem to have accomplished. Don’t let external factors influence the plans you make. Make plans that are realistic, and applicable to your situation.


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