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  1. #1
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Default How can you stick to your plan? When should you?

    I've heard a tempting idea, "do a plan for yourself and keep it". This sounds like a good idea to me.

    In my case, that plan has a certain schedule of university studies, some financing and getting a job at the right time. I think I'm becoming ineffective due to re-evaluating parts of my plan too easily. I often tend to think that the situation has changed and I alter my plans on the fly, most often with bad results. Things like deciding to do one course or another, studying home or going to the lectures etc. Preparing to study for the whole year, or just half a year. Financing the studies with A or B. etc.

    I've got two main ideas how anyone could stick to their plan.

    First, make a good enough plan that you're sure it'll be better to follow it than to improvise, given whatever improvisational skills you have.
    Second, getting an understanding that when you doubt your plan it's probably just a feeling, you've just probably forgot why you made the plan in the first place.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    Second, getting an understanding that when you doubt your plan it's probably just a feeling, you've just probably forgot why you made the plan in the first place.
    Or you can look at it rationally and see if the situation has really changed or not, and if it's smarter to do something differently than planned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Or you can look at it rationally and see if the situation has really changed or not, and if it's smarter to do something differently than planned.
    Then again, feelings of frustration, tiredness, desperation, laziness etc make one hard to act rationally at all times. Maybe the plan should be reconsidered if you're on a smart mood, and just go with the plan if you feel weak?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    I've heard a tempting idea, "do a plan for yourself and keep it". This sounds like a good idea to me.

    In my case, that plan has a certain schedule of university studies, some financing and getting a job at the right time. I think I'm becoming ineffective due to re-evaluating parts of my plan too easily. I often tend to think that the situation has changed and I alter my plans on the fly, most often with bad results. Things like deciding to do one course or another, studying home or going to the lectures etc. Preparing to study for the whole year, or just half a year. Financing the studies with A or B. etc.

    I've got two main ideas how anyone could stick to their plan.

    First, make a good enough plan that you're sure it'll be better to follow it than to improvise, given whatever improvisational skills you have.
    Second, getting an understanding that when you doubt your plan it's probably just a feeling, you've just probably forgot why you made the plan in the first place.

    Thoughts?
    Integrate change into your plan.

    Actually, you usually use a "personal mission statement" to clarify and prioritize personal goals. Then you create a plan to spell out specific steps toward a specific goal. IOW, the personal mission statement is strategic; the plan is tactical.

    But if your goals are still fuzzy or changeable, then that's fine too. Work with that as part of your mission statement. See this post for an example: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=1#post1864883

    As for planning, it's a little more concrete and specific. It's about outlining specific steps toward a concrete goal: “All successful people are planners. They think on paper. Failing to plan, as they say, is planning to fail. And a plan is a list of activities and names.” --From “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi

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    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    Then again, feelings of frustration, tiredness, desperation, laziness etc make one hard to act rationally at all times. Maybe the plan should be reconsidered if you're on a smart mood, and just go with the plan if you feel weak?
    Well, in most cases (unless there's no time, etc.) you can do something to cheer yourself up a bit, which can bring back the "smart" mood. And if the effects aren't THAT strong, at least I usually can get over them.

    For me, it's hardest to overcome the feeling of frustration (usually caused by the lack of money, and solving it usually requires money). Then goes laziness, which is about things that are boring - a good example is homework, school subjects, etc..

    From the given examples, tiredness and desperation are rather easy to overcome. Unless the tiredness is immense - 4h/night sleep for the past week for example. Then, unless what I'm doing is really interesting, it can be very hard to stay awake.

  6. #6

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    Great thread, and I do this too, most recently messing around with weekly schedulers which provide a sort of framework in which I can work towards lists of goals which I have which I want to progress.

    It works for me. I'm never bored or unoccupied but at the same time I think its important that its flexible, no crisis if you dont do a particular thing at a particular time, no dependency upon it, ie you cant think what to do in its abscence or become forgetful or lose concentration without it.

    When I think about it I could have done with something such at this at university and done with sticking to it, as it happened most of my structure at that time was provided by deadlines, bus and train schedules, library opening times. So there was not the abscence of structure but my time could have been better spent, I could have accomplished more in that time and had more goals too but that's part of growing up too.

    A lot of the skills and structuring workshops both then and now strike me as having the most appeal to disorganised and neurotic personalities who fail to follow through in any case or are attempting to use plans and schedules in talismanic fashion to excuse them from responsibility and decision making.

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    @Lark Somewhat on topic: have you ever thought of public institutions like universities, schools, etc., as disorganized and unstructured? For example, teachers not having their own rooms, sharing them with other teachers, teachers complaining that they can't show you something they've prepared because THIS room has no computer or it's broken, lessons in the library or the basement, a one long lesson to cover a month at a university so there wouldn't be any further lessons, etc.?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    @Lark Somewhat on topic: have you ever thought of public institutions like universities, schools, etc., as disorganized and unstructured? For example, teachers not having their own rooms, sharing them with other teachers, teachers complaining that they can't show you something they've prepared because THIS room has no computer or it's broken, lessons in the library or the basement, a one long lesson to cover a month at a university so there wouldn't be any further lessons, etc.?
    I've seen that for sure. Although its not the preserve of the universities or schools in particular, plus some individuals rely on that disorder and cosequently do little themselves to try and provide any fixes and some try real hard to exacerbate or accentuate problems with the idea that if they do so or it becomes bad enough that a crisis will be occasioned and solution arise from that.

    Personally I like to light a candle rather than curse the darkness.

    A lot that problem arises not from the lack of a strategic plan or planning and policy per se but the individuals within the system. Some are great assets and some are not and most of the time those that are not are organised enough to fend off any threat from those who are or want to create a precidence of better working.

    The Peter Principle prevails most of the time, public or private, institutional or less institutional, it doesnt get remarked on much if there's enough money to throw at things. So its more noticeable in the resource starved corners like public services.

  9. #9
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Integrate change into your plan.

    Actually, you usually use a "personal mission statement" to clarify and prioritize personal goals.
    ..
    As for planning, it's a little more concrete and specific. It's about outlining specific steps toward a concrete goal
    I've thought of stating my goals at the highest level and deriving some specific plans from them. Then I could easily make a new plan to same effect when the first one gets stuck. I've wanted to build plan-making into the system; value statements could be it.

    Sometimes I feel I'm just managing chaos. At other times, it feels that something can be planned - do this at these hours for this long and then it's done. But yeah, sometimes I forget the "specific steps" part of the thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Typoz View Post
    Well, in most cases (unless there's no time, etc.) you can do something to cheer yourself up a bit, which can bring back the "smart" mood.
    Seems reasonable. I would figure out that keeping oneself in a good, productive mood is the top priority. But.. things like tiredness affect some specific things, like memory and concentration, so good work can still be done when tired if you've arranged something to help your memory or concentration or such. At least I feel I can't be in an optimal mood at all times, and I have to arrange some things to help me do my stuff nevertheless.

    I've thought that having a plan helps specifically with memory and loss of insight over something. You can do a plan when you're insightful, but following a plan doesn't necessarily need that much insight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Great thread, and I do this too, most recently messing around with weekly schedulers which provide a sort of framework in which I can work towards lists of goals which I have which I want to progress.
    ...
    attempting to use plans and schedules in talismanic fashion to excuse them from responsibility and decision making.
    I've tried to make my schedule every week, and it seems fine for things I know at least few days before. But.. I guess I should spend more time convincing myself that following my schedule will really work.

    I guess my lesson here is that I shouldn't do other kinds of plans than such that will accomplish the goal when followed.

  10. #10
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    @Lark Well, plans and structure are created by individuals. The guys upstairs don't always care about such things. As long as the teachers CAN give a lesson to the students, and the students are occasionally happy because they can go home with no good reason, it's all good. Although, most students were growing angry because of "teachers not giving them lessons," no further details, just that... In latter grades. "We're not ready for the exams," they used to say. I bet the current 12-graders are saying that same thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Santtu View Post
    Seems reasonable. I would figure out that keeping oneself in a good, productive mood is the top priority. But.. things like tiredness affect some specific things, like memory and concentration, so good work can still be done when tired if you've arranged something to help your memory or concentration or such. At least I feel I can't be in an optimal mood at all times, and I have to arrange some things to help me do my stuff nevertheless.

    I've thought that having a plan helps specifically with memory and loss of insight over something. You can do a plan when you're insightful, but following a plan doesn't necessarily need that much insight.
    Well it depends on what you're doing. If it's merely a plan on which thing to do after which to save 2 hours of your time, then sure. But if it's a plan on how to do something complicated, then there is a problem.

    In my experience, you can overcome light tiredness with lots of coffee and particularly an interest in what you are doing, as well as a break - something relaxing. Not as efficient as sleep, but doesn't take as long either.

    I do get irritated, though, when I'm writing something and I forget the word I want to use, or the idea, etc.. That you can't overcome so efficiently, unfortunately.

    I was constantly jealous to the doc from the Star Trek: Enterprise - he didn't need sleep.

    ---

    EDIT: Somehow I feel like I didn't say anything useful in that post. I haven't eaten anything yet today (2PM, awake since 7AM) and I got only 3 hours of sleep tonight. Today, I find it that my thinking works in short bursts, after taking small breaks.

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