Why planning works even if plans fail?

Yes. We know that most plans fail – most projects overrun their budgets and overshoot their schedule. Yet, even as plans fail, the act of planning propels us forward.

One reason why planning works is because of our tendency to be ‘loss-averse’. We humans rue losses more than we appreciate gains. Losing $100 feels worse than winning $100 in a raffle. Psychologists have established that losing something makes us feel twice as worse as gaining it makes us feel better.

The act of planning puts us on the hook. Once a plan is committed to paper, we have something to lose by not following through. In the absence of planning, anything we achieve is a gain – one that we fail to value as much. One reason why planning gets us moving is by switching our mind into loss-aversion mode.

This fact is further amplified by accountability. Once you tell everybody about your plan, you have much more to lose if you don’t follow through.

Planning is yet another trick in your toolkit to train your brain into doing your bidding.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s