Planning fallacy: Do you have a Plan?

Planning fallacy: the Illustration of how it works

Fall… Plans… Planning Fallacy: The ultimate reason why you always have delays!

Interesting fact: This article is the best illustration of how the Planning fallacy works. The author, who starts work on it, tells the editor’s office that it’ll be ready in 24 hours. But in reality, he’s spent more than two days writing it, and Crapped-up all the deadlines!

Planning Fallacy decoration of broken clock

The Planning Fallacy… Yeah Right, all the Capitals. It’s a very interesting theme, which requires maximally concrete and correct research. Why? Simple! Cause, on the one hand, you can find in the planning fallacy all the excuses for your own problems with terms.

It’s all a planning fallacy, not my own laziness. Yeah, yeah, it has a scientific foundation, I’m not the lazy performer, It’s all because of planning fallacy, and… blah-blah-blah.

On the other hand, the Planning fallacy really has a foundation, a lot of research, and other things. So let’s find the answer together. Is the Planning fallacy a myth and your convenient excuse, or is it a reality that can break all plans?

From this, you’ll learn:

  1. What the hell is the Planning fallacy? Or the definition of the term.
  2. What does the theoretic theory say about this phenomenon?

Planning fallacy: the Illustration of how it works

And other useless information… Or no, of course, you’ll also find a piece of information about:

  1. Rules, which really help create normal plans.
  2. Tips, which help you don’t delay through the deadlines.
  3. Real strategies, and methods to calculate real terms of your work.

Also, you’ll find the top 100 excuses to save you from the curses of the authorities. Joke. We know only 99 excuses…

Planning Fallacy: Term, The!

Amos Tversky And Daniel Kahneman: Inventors of the Planning Fallacy

Planning Fallacy — Empirical phenomenon, which determines the difference between how much time humans think they need to solve a task, and the real estimation that it usually takes.

Today, the Planning fallacy it’s a private part of Positive planning. In the global determination, it is more correct as empirical phenomena, which determine the difference between humans analyzing situations, and real things.

The first hypotheses of planning fallacy were made by Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman in the far 1979 year. But they’re not the only ones who research this phenomenon. Also, you may find different terms and explanations by:

  1. Buehler
  2. Brooks.
  3. Jones and Euske.
  4. Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner.

And many other authors, scientists, and researchers. All of them create different explanations of this phenomenon, and from time to time they try to interpret them for special cases (like business between contractor and client).

Crapped up deadlines as the result of Planning fallacy

But all of them have the same in common:

  1. The planning fallacy is existing.
  2. Nobody knows why it happens.
  3. Not all people have problems with plans.
  4. All people can defeat the Planning fallacy with some simple tips, and following the rules.

Yup, we’re not diving into the depths of researching this phenomenon, and don’t waste your time on boring reasoning from different scientists. They still can’t find a real reason for the planning fallacy, that’s why we’re putting only the definition as a constant here.

Old-fashion research: statistics and others.

Ok, as we already finished with all those boring determinations, we have to find the answer. Why did two serious scientists spend more than half a century researching this phenomenon? This story starts in 1979 when they separately found that most of their plans were ruined.

Then they ask their friends, and most of them pass through the same troubles. Then they started to research and found that almost all people around the world regularly pass through the planning fallacy.

But all those things were just observations, and hypotheses. The first real Research they did was only in 1994. They collect many students, and ask them ‘How many times do you need to finish your graduate work’. Then they collect all the data and start waiting.

After all the students finish and complete their graduate work, Researchers collect data and compare them.

  1. Half of the students correctly estimated their work and finished it in the calculated terms.
  2. Each sixth student finished work earlier than was calculated.
  3. And all who left, are crapped up on their terms.

Researchers repeated their trials and found that their results were again the same, or near the same.

Also, all those results were approximated to other big builds and projects, and all were the same.

Then was a long journey, to systematize results, approximate them, analyze them, find the amounts, and calculate. But you already know that the research wasn’t finished. Why? Because of the Planning fallacy of course!

Stop Crap your deadlines, All the really helpful information to break Planning Fallacy

Instead of researchers, we’re finished with all those boring calculations and ready to solve you with some real-life hacks, and interesting ways to solve this problem. Of course, we’re excluding the ‘Pre-morte’ methods, and other ‘very scientific’ methods, and squeezing you into all the wasted information, to find some worthy things.

So here they’re. all the worthy methods, to avoid Planning Fallacy:

  1. Segment the task.
  2. Analyze what went wrong before.
  3. Analyze what can go wrong next time.
  4. Find that you’re a bit lazier than you thought.
  5. Ask other people about their calculations of estimation.

That’s all. Simpler than you thought. But all the simple things are always genius. Let’s describe all the methods.


separation tasks as the way to solve the planning fallacy

First, you need to separate your global task into many local tasks and calculate the estimation for each of them. Then you have to summarize all the estimated calculations and compare them to your previous calculation.

As usual, they would differ. But with all the small tasks, you decrease your risks of getting faults from the planning fallacy.

It’s much easier than adding something to your previous calculations or analyzing risks, or something else.

  1. Make a calculation.
  2. Separate task.
  3. Calculate local tasks.
  4. Summary.
  5. Compare.

… Profit!


What do you expect from your current work? What do you plan to do? How do you plan to do it? What might go wrong? Why don’t other people do your work at the same time? What type of expertise do you need to do this work?

Answer all those simple questions, and you find out why you can’t do it all in the estimated time.

Defeat laziness.

defeat the laziness as the way to solve the planning fallacy

It’s much easier to say than to do. But procrastination is the real reason why you read this. Or might we be wrong, and you’re a student who is seeking material, which will help you to create graduate work? Doesn’t matter.

It is hard to be disciplined, and you can search for tricks and tips in another place. All you can find here is only one tip, which is about exactly the planning fallacy.

Create a plan. Detail it. Add to it 30%. Follow it. Profit!

step-by-step Plans as the way to solve the planning fallacy

Ask Experts

All people always forget about this perfect method. If you are not sure about your terms in a task, exactly in a business task, you can ask experts. People who already solved this task. You can ask them to calculate a real estimation for it.

As usual, they can find not only correct and accurate calculations, but tell you about all potential problems, which you have to pass if you want to solve the chosen task.

Instead of a thousand words: The Ultimate thing that really can save your life.

Ok, here you have to find a conclusion or the ‘secret 99 tips on how to avoid your planning fallacy’ or something else. But only you are the lord of your tasks. And if you Crapped-up with all terms, you must use one secret thing.

All you need is just a deep breath. Then you have to get calmer and say to your contractor, teacher, or yourself ‘I’m sorry, this task took more time than I expected, I’ll strive to mend, to avoid repetition of this situation.’

That’s all. Use methods from this article, and calculate your deadlines correctly. Yup, it’s hard, but we’ll believe in you!

The worthy trick for the day planning

Oh, we’re almost forgotten about one really worthy trick, which helps you to avoid planning fallacies during the day — just don’t plan all your businesses in one day.

The best way is to plan one primal business, three subsidiary tasks, and five less important tasks. Or… you can use our Pomodizet Task Planning application. We can spend all your time describing all the processes of our app. And you can trust us or not, but the better way is one time checking with assuring yourself, than 1000 times to read about it.

one primal business, three subsidiary tasks, and five less important tasks


Also, we want to try you. We’re sure that you’ll have one of the most productive days in your life ever, but only if you pass the 9th task in our app.

So, stop enduring your procrastination, use our tricks, and forget about crapping-up deadlines.



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