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High Energy + No Direction = Problems!

I saw this sign at a coffee shop a while ago, and spent the whole day moderately amused. First of all, I am a big coffee fan. I joke that I can’t give blood because the caffeine in my veins would wake up patients during surgery.

Second, I am not a big fan of running full tilt without a plan. As the sign says, high energy is not enough. It has to be combined with a good plan to get the desired results. There’s an old army expression that goes something like, “proper prior planning prevents poor performance.” A bad plan executed at a high rate of speed just means you go further down the wrong path.

So, what can you do to prevent a bad plan?

  1. Sleep on it. When you come up with an idea in a non-critical situation, apply a self-imposed waiting period to see if the idea still seems good tomorrow.
  2. Write it down. Sometimes, a plan on paper doesn’t look as good as it does in your head.
  3. Bounce it off someone. Ask a mentor to look over your plan. Experienced people can often pose a few key questions that can prevent starting off on the wrong foot.
  4. Plan waypoints. Know your endstate, but put in checkpoints to see if you are on track in getting there. Also know what actions you will take if you are not hitting the interim targets.

Any other ways you can think of to improve your planning?


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