I developed six outlines for a book idea I had brooding in my head.
They existed everywhere. I had simpler versions drawn out in my notebook. I had more complex versions detailed in WorkFlowy. I’ve used Evernote to capture some ideas.
That’s all fine and dandy. I’m not knocking any one of those apps or the brainstorming process in general. I’m a big believer in planning out your actions before execution.
Here’s the thing: I never actually did anything.
I’ve had those outlines sitting on my desktop and various places for a few months now. Hell, I even downloaded a template for Pages designed to organize your e-book for you. It comes complete with fancy page numbers, chapter outlines – the whole nine yards.
I remember sitting down one day. I had the outlines handy. The template was loaded up on the screen. A cup of hot coffee sat to my right. Virtually everything I need was right in front me.
Still, I was paralyzed.
I couldn’t seem to do it. I couldn’t actually connect the dots.
The worst part of planning is inaction.
It’s easy to sit there and plan, to drum up ideas.
We get so preoccupied with having the perfect idea that we never actually execute anything.
To put this in perspective, I’ve brainstormed ideas for three different books. I’ve told my fiancee about every one of them. Yet, I’m still not an author of anything more than some freelance articles and this blog. I haven’t actually taken action on any of my ideas.
Planning can be an addictive process. You have the whiteboard up. Your post-its are sprawled across your desk. For all anyone else knows, it’s a scene out of A Beautiful Mind. You feel like you’re making progress. But, are you?
At the end of the day, planning needs to lead to action or else it’s just wasted time. Take all of your great ideas and start. Quit waiting for the perfect idea or the magic aligning of the stars that prompts you to actually get going.
The plan is only as good as the implementation.