Negative Effects Of Overplanning And How To Stop Them

Daniel and Abba are good friends who want to launch their separate businesses. 

They create their unique plans and how to achieve their goals. 

Daniel’s plan is straightforward. Find a conducive location, obtain an affordable shop, and launch his business as soon as possible.  

Abba, on the other hand, wanted a glamorous beginning for his business. 

He wanted a busy arena, a massive building, a delivery van, two staff, a marketing team, and reputable customer care service. 

The plan is all about perfection as he wasn’t thinking of starting small. 

He wanted a grand opening that would make him a famous business mogul overnight. 

Though Abba’s perfect plan looks good, implementing it wasn’t easy at all. 

He kept changing one thing to another, hoping to achieve his dream sooner than later. 

While Abba was struggling with his plans, Daniel had already launched his business. 

Two months later, Abba became frustrated and couldn’t maintain the same enthusiasm. As for Daniel, he’s making steady progress.

Two male friends talking passionately

So, one day, Abba approached Daniel for advice.  He asked: “Guy, how did you achieve such a huge milestone?”

“Well, I read a book (The Mystery of Time and Money). It opened my eyes to some business and timing secrets,” Daniel said. 

“I started small and quick. I had a simple plan; here we are!” He concluded with a smile. 

The message from the short story is simple: Don’t waste time looking for the perfect plan. 

Planning is good; having a perfect plan is better, but overplanning will affect your growth. 

Unfortunately, many people want to start new ventures and pursue big goals but get stuck in the quest for a flawless plan. 

As much as I understand the need for a well-planned strategy, overplanning can stop you from achieving your dreams. 

So what? Does it mean you shouldn’t plan at all? No. Planning is crucial before starting anything.

So, what is overplanning, and how long should you take to plan? 

Let’s find out!

What Is Overplanning? 

Overplanning means taking too much time, energy, and resources to create a ‘perfect’ strategy. 

It means trying to create a plan that can solve future issues when you haven’t settled present ones.

Do you get the second point? Okay, let me discuss further. 

Abba is a perfect example of an over-planner. He was thinking of the future without tackling the current issue (taking the first step). 

Do you understand it now? Good

Difference Between Simple Planning And Overplanning 

As the name implies, simple planning is short and precise. 

It focuses on how to start an assignment in the best possible way, even if it’s not perfect. 

Overplanning, on the other hand, focuses on perfection. 

It makes you think of how to start something and immediately be the best in the industry. 

How Much Planning Is Too Much 

It depends on the intensity of the tasks or goals you want to achieve. 

Some huge tasks might require extensive planning, while little ones take a little time. 

Nonetheless, your plans shouldn’t exceed a month or two. Research, provide the necessary devices, and start as soon as possible. 

What Causes Overplanning? 

Your desire for perfection is the primary cause of overplanning. 

You want everything to be perfect and available before taking a step. 

Unfortunately, things don’t work that way. You need energy, money, strength, time, and dedication. 

What Are the Possible Disadvantages of Overplanning 

Below are some adverse effects of overplanning:

1. Physical and Mental Stress 

It’s no no-brainer that overplanning can cause overthinking. 

You will keep thinking of a perfect way to start your primary goal. 

Sadly, this could eventually lead to mental and physical health issues.

A man confused after overplanning

2. Unnecessary Delay 

Overplanning is a subtle form of delay. 

Using Abba as a case study, he couldn’t launch the business earlier due to his complicated plans. 

Though he is mapping out the best strategies to start well, he didn’t do anything. 

You have to be extra careful so overplanning won’t delay your progress. 

3. Self-imposed Distraction 

We were told to avoid distractions from friends and social media, but what about the ones we created for ourselves? 

Overplanning is a distraction you will never discover until you have a solemn reflection. 

You might think you are busy putting things into place, but that isn’t the case. 

Your desire for a perfect plan has successfully distracted you from taking the first step.

4. It Makes You an Unproductive Perfectionist

A perfectionist is someone who wants everything perfect. You want to appear perfect without any mistakes or errors. 

Is there anything wrong with being a perfectionist? Yes. Many things. 

Low productivity, poor interpersonal relationships, and health complications are few adverse effects of being a perfectionist. 

Signs Of Overplanning 

Planning becomes unhealthy when you observe the following signs:

  • Too many plans, zero execution
  • You become restless, thinking of the possible outcomes. 
  • You spend over two months planning. 
  • You have too many abandoned projects because you haven’t found the best way to start. 

How To Stop Overplanning

Here are some proven ways to stop spending too much time in the planning stage: 

1. Know That No Plan is Perfect

The first way to stop overplanning is to accept that nothing is perfect — not even human beings. 

A four-month plan isn’t a good idea if you ask me. It will only sabotage your productivity in the long run. 

Accepting that there’s no perfect plan will let you take the first step as soon as possible. 

Am I saying you should settle for just any plan? No. I’m suggesting you should be fast with your moves and thoughts. 

2. Your Plans Should Have a Time Frame 

Set a time frame for your plans. It will stop you from taking too long to decide.  

Your planning time limits can be two hours, one day, or a month, based on the project’s size or intensity. 

You will make the necessary changes as events unfold in the future. 

3. Set a Launching Date for Your Project 

Similarly, your tasks should have a starting date. It will help you plan quickly and start something at the right time. 

Pick a date for your project and get ready to start.

A template showing project's starting and finishing dates

That way, you won’t feel too relaxed testing the waters on too many occasions. 

You might not publicize the date yet to avoid disappointment but have it in your mind.  

Frequently Asked Questions About Overplanning 

What are the effects of overplanning?

The effects of overplanning include stress, anxiety, and other health-related complications. 

Additionally, excess planning can lead to procrastination, slow growth, and low accomplishments. 

How do you deal with overplanning?

You can deal with overplanning by:

  • Setting a short but good-enough planning period 
  • Having a specific time and date for your target 
  • Accepting the fact that no plan is perfect 
  • Stop being a perfectionist. 

Wrapping Up

It’s one thing to start brightly but another thing to keep going when results are unfavorable. 

Don’t spend too much time planning because you can’t predict the future. 

Start your business or ventures early and be ready to make necessary alterations as time goes on. 

Don’t be discouraged during storming periods—that’s part of life. Alter your approach when necessary, and keep going. 

What do you think of overplanning? Let me know in the comments section below. 

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