Stop Planning to Increase Productivity

While planning helps most of us stay organized and on top of the tasks we need to complete, it turns out that this planning might just be getting in the way of our productivity. A professor at Cal Newport has devised the Anti-Plan Theory, which advises people to throw caution to the wind and adapt to whatever is thrown their way.

Normally, people will plan ahead to figure out what needs to be done and what their actions will accomplish. Instead, this professor says you should rid yourself of these plans, but also keep a record of your experience so you can go back and see what went well and what left you frustrated.

“The theory behind anti-planning is that it exposes you to a much wider swath of the productivity plan landscape,” the professor writes. “Your journal will keep you updated on how well you’re doing, which provides the selective pressure needed to drive you toward some novel approaches to getting more depth out of your working habits.”

This anti-planning can actually boost your productivity because it keeps you flexible and adaptable to road blocks. And, since the theory forces individuals to look at their own work habits, it tends to get people completing tasks at a faster rate.

The professor also notes that anti-planning can be quite tiring because of the increased amount of decision-making, adding that this type of work ethic only lasts a few weeks.

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