October 2017: Evaluating Plans

Melissa Murray, Nest, 2015

“Life is what happens when we’re making other plans.”

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

“Want to make God laugh? Tell her your plan.”

When it comes to life, our culture is skeptical about having a plan. We know that life doesn’t always go according to plan, and rarely goes as expected.

When it comes to business, we’re all about plans: business plans, marketing plans, project management, systems, processes, and infinite ways to approach each plan (with new ones being invented with each new business book).

As an author of one of those afore-side-eyed plan books, I’m an advocate for creating clear goals and intentional actions. But that also gets in the way of my success.

Our plans often require a pause; a moment to re-evaluate and change our approach, or even the goal itself.

At the Pregame Clubhouse, we often talk about the sinister nature of sunk cost fallacy — the logic error that comes from needing to see an investment through even when it’s no longer working for us.

For example, we stand in line for 20 minutes, then decide we no longer want the thing for which we’re standing in line, but we’ve already been in line for 20 minutes — wait, now it’s 25 — so we might as well wait the 30 more minutes it’s going to take to get to the front of the line. In reality, the smart thing to do is know when to fold ’em and just leave the line.

Where are you staying in line in your life or work? Is there something you need to quit, even if you’ve invested a lot up to this point? Or do you simply need a time out to rest, re-evaluate, and refresh your perspective?

If you’re not sure, check out Seth Godin’s The DipA Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). It’s a great reminder that some endeavors have outlived their value to you, while others are worth seeing through and creating a new game plan.

Strategy & Style,

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