Sunday, January 7, 2007

People don't like planning

One time I asked my friend whether he wanted to have dinner with me and another friend the next day and he said,

"Hmmm I'm not sure yet... How about you call me tomorrow and I'll tell you if I can join you guys?"

I was pretty upset and thought to myself: "How come people aren't even sure what they're doing tomorrow? Don't people make plans for their future?"

From my observation, most of them don't.

Work time still okay...

I believe the majority of people are pretty disciplined at their work times since they're forced to do so. To lots of people, they work because they've to make a living. They're not necessarily happy at work but they've to perform at a satisfactory level in order to keep their jobs. To do that, they've to go to work on time, do their duties, attend meetings, etc. It's more or less a disciplined and planned life at one's work place.

Personal time is a mess!

At people's personal time, however, things tend to be completely random. If you've used Evite or Google Calendar to invite people to join a meeting before, you'd notice that there're three options
  • Yes
  • No
  • Maybe
The last option, "Maybe", which is many people's favorite, offers zero information.

How come? In Information Theory, you give the most information when you're absolutely right or wrong. If a dumbass always gives an incorrect answer to a True or False question, just by reversing his answers we'll get all the questions right. If you've a probability of 1/2 being right or wrong, however, you give zero information and you're more useless than that always-wrong dumbass :P

Although "Maybe" offers zero information, it is ironically a lot more useful than "Yes" and "No" because 9 out of 10 times people aren't sure about if they're going to make it to attend a certain event or not.

Not knowing the future isn't an excuse

"Hey dude, no one really knows what'll happen in the future. If you don't know the future, how can you plan for it?" You may say.

Well, if you do know the future, you don't need to plan for it right?? Everything will just happen according to what you know about the future then. We make plans exactly because we don't know about the future and want to prepare a series of actions that'll most likely render desired results. So, not knowing the future is an illegal excuse of not making plans.

People are LAZY...

Why don't people make plans then? One reason I can think of is that people are lazy. According to the Second Law of of Thermodynamics,
The entropy of an isolated system not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium.
What the law says is that nature tends to be chaotic, that is, approaching equilibrium as stated in the above statement (Note that entropy is a measure of randomness). In order to keep stuff in an organized manner, you need to apply external energy to the system, or, make some effort. If you don't tidy up your room from time to time, it's going to approach a mess sooner or later. Similarly, it takes effort to make one's personal life organized. People who are lazy would rather do stuff that makes them happy instantly (they've a hard time delaying gratification) instead of putting effort to organize their lives.

People want to keep their choices open

Another reason I can think of is that people like to keep their choices open until the last minute.

I'm not at that extreme, but I confess that I did something like that before. If you read this post that I wrote sometimes ago, I kept my church friend waiting for my decision until about 3 days before their event. But 3 days should be enough for them to change their plan and prepare stuff for one less person.

However, there're people who don't make up their minds until the morning of the event day, or, they simply forget to tell the event organizer whether they'll attend or not. They do that because there may be another event that is more fun but it's not confirmed yet. Or, girls keep guys who ask them out waiting since their dream guy may ask her out in the last minute. You got the idea.

A bad chained effect

Well, we do have our right to keep our choices open, but we should make up our decisions soon enough so that the event organizer (or that poor ugly guy who miraculously got the guts to ask you out) has enough time to change his/her plan.

Think about it, there's a chained effect of this irresponsible act. If you keep your friend waiting for your decision, your friend may then be forced to keep another friend waiting, and the chain goes on. What's the result of this? A waste of many people's valuable personal time.

Ditching people in the last minute!

And some people may just ditch you in the last minute. Unless there's a pretty strong reason for that (like being sick or family reasons or the evil boss asks you to add a new feature to his crappy software over the weekend), please try your best to avoid that. It really hurts your credibility in the long run (*___* )

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