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Planning vs. Execution

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Motion vs. Action or Planning vs. Execution

What’s the difference? Motion is when you’re busy doing something, but that task never produces an outcome. Action, on the other hand, is what gets you results. You can have the best plan in the world, but if you do not execute it is useless.

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare.” —Japanese proverb

Here are some examples of what I mean…

  • If I outline 20 ideas for blogs or FFfTs I want to write, that’s planning. If I write and publish them, that’s execution.
  • If I search for a better diet plan and read a few books on the topic, that’s motion. If I eat a healthy meal, that’s action.
  • If I go to the gym and ask about getting a personal trainer, that’s planning. If I step under the bar and start squatting, that’s execution.

Planning is good, it allows you to prepare and strategize and learn. But planning will never (by itself) lead to the result you are looking to achieve. You must execute. Most people spend a lot of time planning; some spend all their planning. Why is that?

Execution is scary. Execution may lead to failure or rejection. But if you don’t take that leap you will never know. What if…

  • people enjoy that blog you wrote and it could make you famous
  • you enjoy the food you eat on the diet and be healthy
  • you enjoy the workout the trainer selects for you

But it is still scary. Many people to not enjoy the unknown. The best way to execute is to plan to do it. Set small targets… You will do this by this date, you will do X number of them, etc. Make the plan as simple as possible and start doing it. If you fail, you can always learn something from it and try a different tactic, but you must commit.

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” —Peter F. Drucker

Spend some time planning your week and come in next week ready to execute.

Have a great weekend.


About Friday Food for Thought (FFfT)

I frequently attend conferences and retreats on entrepreneurship and leadership and while I am away, the J2 team picks up the slack, allowing me to learn to be better at what I do. I wanted to share what I was learning with my team, so I created the weekly FFfT emails in November of 2015 and have been writing them ever since.

Before long, the J2 staff began sharing the FFfT emails with their friends and family and now other leaders have asked to be included, which led to the creation of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy!