I've been talking with Alvaro and Brian about this at work, and it proved quite interesting. Alvaro is a big fan of 'Getting things done', sticking to a plan and doing things right away, whereas Brian is more of a relaxed kind of guy, who will do things on impulse without a plan. I guess I'm kind of in the middle right now, though I've been to both extremes. My evolution on this matter can best be seen in the way I plan trips. Two years ago every trip was planned exactly. I knew exactly which trains to take, when they left and the price of the ticket. This gradually evolved to a state where I didn't really care about planning anything, since things always went all right anyway. As the planning and investigating gradually slipped away you would expect things to start to go wrong. But they didn't. Getting hotels at the last minute, somehow finding a train home, taking a bus instead, catching the last train purely by chance, somehow everything went all right. It was finally the Australia trip that showed me where I lacked planning. Something I should consider for my next trip to Shikoku, but I'm digressing.
Do the tasks that you need to do. Don't procrastinate. Don't delay. Everyone is clear on that, there is no confusion. So why do people plan differently? If everybody looks at the problem the same way, the way of solving the problem should at least be similar. Instead, there are two factors that influence the way a person approaches a problem. I will abstract these two factors in abstract concepts: perspective, and yaruki.
Perspective is the way we look at a problem, or task. This is influenced by how much we know about the task, and anything related to it, and the position we are in ourselves. A manager will not look at a problem the same way as a programmer. A task will seem easier once one knows the sub-tasks, and how to perform them. Being able to oversee the entire task makes people more confident, and they can get started on a task knowing what it's for.
Yaruki is a Japanese word meaning the 'willingness', or the will to do something. I liken it a bit more to motivation, or will to work. Once you have yaruki you can work fast and efficient, but if you don't, finishing it could take longer than expected, or you might delay the task. Motivating people gives them yaruki.
It's important to consider these two things, and to reflect on what you are doing. Don't misjudge the task. Keep an open mind. If you can do that, the task should at least be manageable.
Sounds easy, right? I was typing this post when I should be looking for maps for the Shikoku trip!!!