April 24, 2024

Are you an overplanner?

Do you often get so wrapped up in planning that you forget to actually do?

Dr Priyanka Naidu
Are you an overplanner?

This is the overplanning paradox!

We may get so engrossed in the planning process that we never quite make it to the action phase.  We may plan out every single detail of our morning routine, or exercise regimen, but then fail to execute it. Sound familiar?

Overplanning can be a sign of perfectionism. We often feel safe when we plan - we feel in control. This is why when we feel anxious or stressed, we're more likely to overplan.

Planning can give us a sense of direction, motivation and clear steps to take action. But fixating on planning and can thwart progress towards our goals.

Here are some telltale signs that you're an overplanner:

  • You frequently wait for that 'perfect moment.'
  • You struggle to be flexible when things go off script
  • You take a long time to start projects because you want to feel completely prepared
  • You frequently start new endeavours/or set new goals without finishing/reaching them

The trouble is that in trying to hit perfection, we see anything less as a failure. This mindset can prevent us from moving forward towards our goals. This can relate to your nutrition, exercise, work or lifestyle goals. It can be easy to fall into the trap of giving up when things don't go to plan.

So remember,

Progress over Perfection!

Here are 3 strategies to kick the habit of over-planning.

  1. Allocate a fixed time to plan - e.g. Sundays around 4pm for 15 minutes. No more!
  2. Encourage progress, and small steps over perfection. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym on Monday afternoons, going for a walk or stretching instead is still making progress and hitting your movement goals.
  3. Prioritise being present. When you catch yourself overplanning, recalibrate, and enjoy the moment instead. Remind yourself that you don't need to control everything.