Plan less, do more

By Younas Chaudhary

In 2014, I started authoring my book “From Dirt Roads to Black Gold,” and my plan was not to publish it for the world to read, but instead to leave the book for my family after I was gone. As time passed, I started thinking about getting the book published. The book project dragged on longer than I had predicted. I was more of a planner than a doer. That was my fault. I did not have a set deadline, so I continued to drag the book project for several years and I did not publish the book until the summer of 2019.

Younas Chaudhary

I could not find a perfect ending for the book, and I wasted a lot of time thinking of various ideas. For example, I did not like the title of the book, I was confused choosing the right graphics, font size to use, and even the number of pages…should I bring it from 250 to 150 pages? There were innumerable edits and revisions I made along the way prolonging the project.

Finally, I realized that all my pre-planning kept me away from publishing the book. So, I set a deadline in early 2019 of July 2019 where I decided that I will finish printing and publishing the book by that date. I was so relieved when I did finally publish my book in July 2019. I wondered about the time I wasted planning for it in the name of looking for perfection.

All of us can be planners and doers but completing and shipping the final product on time to end users makes us a doer.

I have been a doer since my early childhood days. My parents assigned me certain daily chores for me to bring milk and vegetables from our nearby village daily and without fail. I had to do it and I could not sit around planning because if I did not get the task done, my family would not have milk to drink and vegetables to cook for that day.

Later, while training in the Pakistan Military Academy in 1971-1972, I learned the value of doing things with discipline and deadlines, a trait that I have continued throughout my life.

We all wish and dream of doing many things in life, but unless we put our heart and soul into doing it, we are simply being planners and not doers.

I am not discounting the importance of pre-planning or thinking through projects leading to what we might want and wish for the future.

In fact, I am a good planner myself and I jot down my weekly, monthly, and quarterly plans and religiously try to stick to them. I am a stickler for due dates and deadlines. I make sure that I preplan and keep my commitments if I need to do something by a particular day and time.

For instance, if my engineering team tells me that we will be pulling an oil well by the end of next week, I specifically ask them to give me a specific date and day. If they tell me Friday, I will ask them if it can be done on Thursday so that we do not lose oil production revenues from that oil well over the weekend.

If you are an entrepreneur, being a doer makes you take risks. You ought to feel and know your gut actions to sell your product, and/or deliver your prompt services without seeking perfection to the end users. It is best to make a realistic and achievable wish list, then go for it with full force and energy to make it happen, instead of endlessly planning for it and hiding it on a shelf. Blessings.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. Further, I make no warranty regarding the accuracy or effectiveness of my recommendations, and readers are advised to consult other advisors as well as their own judgments in making business decisions.

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