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Wednesday, April 24, 2024



Did you know, our brains are wired to automatically misjudge the future?

Introducing “The Planning Fallacy.”

This can be described as a tendency to be more hopeful about what we can do with our time, vs what we realistically can achieve.

“Can you get this report through by Friday?”

“Sure!” (Uh… I can’t)

This unconscious decision-making is wired into us, and more often than not, without realizing it, we make these “mini-decisions” that cost us in the long run.

We do this for many reasons – maybe you don’t want to disappoint your team – so you envision yourself being a super effective person, but only later.

Simply put, the “Planning Fallacy” is your brain’s simple unconscious decision, to base your ability to do something on the potential future, not the set-in-concrete past.

We hope that we will be better, more efficient, more disciplined.

But inevitably, our track record plays its inevitable role, and we wind up taking more time, being less efficient than we thought, and ultimately, not taking the massive action today when it counts – and reaping the rewards later.

How do we beat this?

  1. Consider your decision…
    You and your brain can do anything, even if you have unconscious habits that guide your decisions. What if you made a decision, about the decision?

    This is what’s called a “meta-decision” – and if you could weigh up the pros/cons of making this decision – it’d help you realize this decision carries a bit of weight!

    That’s right, if you decide to do something, but fail to consider all the parts to it (how long the task will realistically take, how motivated you will be to take on the task etc.) – you could hurt yourself!

    Creating guilt for the task unfinished and reinforcing that subconscious “imposter syndrome” we sometimes have to deal with.

    Consider all the parts you never considered before, and think of the question… Can I do this in this timeframe?

  1. Consider your track record
    You took x amount of time to achieve this before. That is a benchmark. Whether you know it or not, you have a track record. How long this took vs how long that took to do.

    When we divide our day up, taking note of what we want to make happen in the day, look at the time it will take you.

    For example, it takes me roughly an hour to write up a blog like this. If it’s a more in-depth one, that requires reading from articles, books and experts, I slap on another hour. If we had the goal to write five blogs a day – and make sure they were quality – We’d be writing non-stop for ten hours!

    Doable? Totally. But only if we start with awareness of what our day could look like.

  1. Doing the task
    Look, there are so many paths to being productive about what you set out to achieve now that you know what you’re up against.

    And we all know them! Wake up before anybody else. Work out intensely. Shower off the sweat and drink your stimulating drink. Break the task down into small manageable steps and take them on, one at a time. It’s been drilled into our brains so much so that it’s become a foundation for our supposed productivity. So, let’s skip that – you already know this. At Zoomination, we believe in the outcomes you create with your actions. Ruthlessly questioning what “doing the task” will achieve is a great way to prioritizing it, and determining how massive your action towards it will be.

    Was this blog helpful? Perhaps it illuminated a habit of yours – a habit we all share – and could help you better plan your day. Until next time.