The Planning Procrastination

I’ve spent a good part of the last two weeks planning a great challenge for the last six months of the year. That challenge was supposed to improve my eating habits, get me to the gym more often, and reduce my procrastination. I got so excited about the planning that planning itself became my procrastination.

I call this the planning procrastination. This led to me sitting on my couch, watching TV while eating the third ice cream of the day, and fantasizing about how amazing my life would be when I accomplished this challenge.

Several times, I caught myself thinking: “I can eat this ice cream / procrastinate on YouTube because from July 1st I’ll do everything amazing”. I guess we all know this is a big fat lie to myself. If I can’t get myself together to just follow one simple habit, how in the world am I supposed to change ALL my habits at once for half a year?

It seems pretty unrealistic.

Forget Your Optimal Training Plan

The funny thing is that I’ve observed planning procrastination among many chess improvers. They tend to procrastinate searching for the perfect book/course/plan and never really start making progress.

That’s why, in my course Next Level Training, I’m not focusing on the absolutely perfect training plan. Instead, you will learn how to create a good, simple training plan.

Now, I try to use the same framework and apply it to my own life. Instead of going for the perfect 6 months, I’ve listed some simple things that will improve my life.

  • Don’t eat snacks (1 cheat day per week is ok)
  • Go to the gym 3x a week
  • Walk 10,000 steps every day
  • Take frequent breaks without digital devices

These are some of those simple things I want to make better. Starting now.

Actions Give Confidence

As I’m trying to apply the above to my own life (I haven’t yet opened YouTube since starting to write this article, yey), I challenge you to do something about your chess improvement right now.

Here are a few free options:

  • Head over to and solve puzzles for 5-15 minutes. Remember to write down your solution. If you don’t know how/why to do that, read this article first.
  • Create your first little chess training plan with this guide.
  • Open your database of chess games and analyze your last game. Here is a guide on how to do that.

If you need some more structured help on how and what to train, then consider getting my course Next Level Training. You will learn how to study chess effectively without procrastination. From great resources to how exactly to solve tactical puzzles, you’ll find everything you need to train chess the right way.

If you can relate to this article, then the key is that you now do something. Whenever you want to improve but don’t take action, you lose self-confidence. The only way to build this confidence is to take small, manageable steps toward your goal. I finished this article and am now going for a walk on my break (instead of scrolling Twitter or watching a YouTube video).

It is your move. What are you doing right now to improve your chess?

Keep improving,

PS: This article was initially sent out to my Newsletter list. If you want to get chess improvement advice for free in your inbox, join 17,000+ chess improvers by signing up for Friday Grandmaster Insights here.

Whenever you’re ready, here is how I can help you:

  • Want to know How to train chess well? Check out Next Level Training – The Chess Training Blueprint for Adult Improvers. This course taught 700+ students the How of Chess Training. Create your high-quality chess plan and learn how to study each part of Chess, from tactics to openings & endgames. ​Click here to learn more​.
  • Check out my all-in-one Beginner Video course, Beginner Chess Mastery—Reach 1200 Online. You’ll learn all the fundamentals, from strategy to how to get the most out of your pieces, tactics, and endgames. You even get a full opening repertoire for free. ​Click here to learn more​.

I firmly believe that

anyone can improve their chess through the right mindset and training techniques.

I’m here to guide you on your journey to chess mastery.

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