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Planning vs Execution

A couple of weeks ago during a planning session I was asked “how do you deal with the guilt of not completing a task? And the answer was so simple, I don’t feel guilty when I don’t complete something because I know myself, and I know the checkpoints I’ve put in place for myself, so if a task is left unchecked, I may be running behind (because life), but it damn sure will get done.

In the words of my favorite author, James Clear, "professionals stick to the schedule," amateurs let life get in the way. Professionals know what is important to them and work toward it with purpose; amateurs get pulled off course by the urgencies of life. I can guarantee you that the reason you aren’t executing your plan is either because you’re not confident in what you really want or you’re letting “false emergencies” deter you.

I’ve realized over time that planning is the easy part. We LOVE pulling out the different color markers, the highlighters, etc., but where most people fall short is executing. 

I have a question for you, what happens after you create a to do list? Or more importantly, what happens after you spend hours creating the perfect strategy for a goal you want to reach? I can guess that you’re fired up off the sheer fact that you created a to-do list or a strategy, and in that moment, you feel accomplished. Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it is that exact feeling that keeps you from really doing the work.

Once you’ve created a to-do list, you HAVE to create sub tasks (things you need to do to complete the bigger task), and you HAVE to put in place some kind of check-in system. This can be an alert on your calendar that goes off letting you know it’s time to do something. This can be a weekly meeting with yourself where you go over what you’ve completed (or not completed), and from there you know what you need to do the following week. (That’s my favorite if I’m being honest)

The point is, once you get a taste of really DOING, and not just planning, you start to see that that’s the real feeling of accomplishment. You see, I never feel guilty about running behind on a task because I know a time is coming where I’m going to have to “check-in,” and I understand the true accomplishment is getting shit done.


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