Why Long-Term Planning Doesn’t Work

I was accepting a chat afresh with a friend, and she airish a catechism that I’ll bet you’ve advised at some point:

“Why is it that a lot of humans will put added time and activity into planning a two-week vacation than they’ll put into planning their absolute lives?”

Have you had that thought? Accept you anytime wondered why it’s accurate (and you and I both apperceive that it is true)?

Well, aback my acquaintance airish that question, I accept been apprehensive why it’s accurate — and I anticipate I’ve appear up with the answer. And not just the answer, but a way that we as leaders — of a team, of a project, of our own activity — can use the acknowledgment to our advantage to become bigger producers and bigger leaders.

So why is it that a lot of humans will put added time and activity into planning a two-week vacation than they’ll put into planning their absolute lives?

The Answer

I anticipate it’s because our acclimatization is, by nature, concise and reactive.

This is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. It’s hard-wired into us. For a lot of of our time as a breed on the planet, there was no such affair as abiding planning, because for a lot of of us there was no such affair as long-term. Until actual recently, our boilerplate lifespan was 35 years, around all of which was lived beneath the class of concise and reactive:

“My abdomen is abandoned now — how can I acquisition food?” (short-term and reactive) vs. “I’m traveling to benumb these burritos and accept them next month” (long-term and proactive)

“I’m getting attacked by a sabre-tooth tiger — I should apparently do something about that” (short-term and reactive) vs. “If I can acclimatize this sabre-tooth tiger, accomplish it smaller, and yield videos of it animadversion things off tables, I’ll accept something viral to column to YouTube already videos, tables, and YouTube are invented” (long-term and proactive)

“I charge to body a blaze so that Og Jr. can survive until morning” (short-term and reactive) vs. “I charge to put 15% of my assets into some affectionate of high-yield interest-bearing annual so that if Og Jr. graduates from top academy he can go to Harvard — already top academy and Harvard are invented” (long-term and proactive)

That’s how we survived. By getting concise and reactive. We’re hard-wired to acknowledge to the immediate.

Going aback to my friend’s question, the two-week vacation is short-term. It’s immediate. It’s a date on the calendar, and we acknowledge to the borderline of that date.

The aberration we accomplish is cerebration we can affected hundreds of bags of years of hard-wiring through the animal force of will ability (which, as we’ve now discovered, is a bound ability which diminishes throughout the day). We can’t. We’re just not active that way.

What To Do Instead

So rather than try to action millennia of hard-wiring, let’s use it to our advantage. Let’s accede that we are, by nature, short-term, acknowledging creatures. And let’s body that into our plans.

Yes, accomplish abiding goals. But again breach those abiding goals down into abundant concise goals which, if completed, will aswell complete the abiding goal.

Yes, bless the achievement of the abiding goal. But aswell plan abate celebrations for the acknowledged achievement of anniversary of the concise goals.

Yes, accept a borderline for the achievement of the abiding goal. But aswell accept deadlines — absolute deadlines that you put on your agenda — for anniversary of the concise goals.

The basal band is this. Our success doesn’t accept to be in a around-the-clock accompaniment of attempt with our nature. Instead, we can use our attributes to ensure our success.

Doesn’t that complete easier?