Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Planning Department

I spent today at the Seattle Department of Planning and Development taking steps to get our plans for a “detached accessory structure” approved. It was relatively painless as visits to governmental agencies go and I think we made progress towards getting things okayed; at least I understand better what’s needed in order to get the structure signed-off on.

Mainly, though, it was strange for me to be in an environment whose energies are devoted so strongly to PLANNING. I myself tend to devote as little energy as possible to the task. Rather, I prefer to just wing it and figure things out as I go along.

I guess I just don’t understand planning. It usually seems to me that most of the time one spends preparing to do something would better be spent just doing it. Why spend weeks drawing up plans for something when you could already be working on it? Sure, you might avoid some mistakes and setbacks, but would that save time in the long run? Since you’re going to mess up anyway as you go along, why not just get started as soon as possible?

I’m exaggerating a bit, of course but I stand by my main point: we ought to plan less and do more. Down with rehearsal! Up with performance!

Do you think I outlined this piece I’m writing?

“Obviously not,” you say.

Very funny; but did you PLAN to say that?

I was told that Winston Churchill said, “Plans are meaningless; planning is everything.” On the contrary; I think it’s better to have a plan than to engage in planning. You can always change a plan, but that time and energy spent planning is lost forever.

Of course, failure to plan has cost me in the past, like the time I didn’t count on the beer store being closed when we went camping.

My mistake, though, was planning on it being open; I should have started drinking before we left.


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