Why Is Your Plan Always Not as Successful as You Hope? Don’t Make It about Success, Make It about Not Failing

When we start a new year, a new career, or a new stage of life, we always are determined to manage our time smartly to become a better person. We want to cultivate new habits, improve work efficiency, and go to the gym regularly…But why are we always unsuccessful in the end?

The  plans may look perfect, but are actually hard to achieve, and day by day, we become disappointed in ourselves. Is there any way to change this?

Time management and efficiency have always been very popular topics. You might have learned about GTD (Getting Things Done), Pomodoro Technique, and other time management principles. But do you really apply them to your work and life? Do you really make your time more effective?

倒れない計画術, written by DaiGo, a famous japanese psychological strategist, talks about what mistakes we often make in time management.

In this book, the author doesn’t teach you how to manage time successfully. Instead, he teaches you how to avoid failing in time management. He mentions that most Japanese are not optimists, but pessimists. Optimists think if they succeed this time, they will succeed again next time. In contrast, pessimists think although they succeed this time, they might still  fail the next time. Trying to know what type of person we are in advance can help us to find the suitable time management methods.

The reason why most people fail in time management is being too optimistic. For example, you thought it would only take 2 hours to complete a proposal, so you spared 2 hours on the schedule for it. But why can’t you complete it? Because you didn’t consider unexpected things, like phone calls from customers, urgent Emails, or falling into a low mood.

Therefore, we can make multiple plans instead of only one plan for different situations.

If you plan to go to the gym after work, but an extra task from the supervisor makes you work overtime, you can walk home  instead of taking a break from exercising for the day. If you abandon exercising for one day, you might abandon it for the next day. In  the end, you may never achieve your goals.

Does that mean you can never rest? In contrast, you should plan for the time to rest “on purpose.”  To cite an instance, you can plan a day without exercise and a healthy diet. The most important thing is that you are the one who arranges the day. Your schedule is not interrupted by others, nor are you forced to deal with sudden tasks. Planning rest time actively can improve your confidence in time management as you have more control over your time and life.

If you often find yourself having trouble managing your time effectively, why don’t you give these new methods a try?