Each month I write a plan for the month on this blog. It's interesting how two things seem to be tied to that process. The first is that I generally feel like I am making up the plan on the fly, and the second is that I never seem to find time to do all of the things I claim I will in the plan.
For example, for this month I claim that I want to learn the Taimanov Sicilian, which is a true statement. But do I need to learn it now? After all, I play the Scheveningen decently and I also know the French fairly well if I don't feel like playing a Sicilian.
But what about my other openings? Well, as Black I have been starting to play the Slav after years of playing the King's Indian. So wouldn't it make more sense to focus on learning the Slav rather than the Taimanov? Of course it would. But since I just make my "plans" up on the fly rather than by putting some thought into them this is the kind of result I get.
So is that a reason to disparage? Not necessarily. After all, one of the truisms of chess is that studying one area of the game tends to lift your skill levels in other areas of the game. Meaning that a thorough study of endings will still lift your level of strategic play, etc. So studying the "wrong" thing is still studying and will still produce results.
Having said all that, I think that if I start to take time to truly focus on making a plan for what is most needed that I will progress more rapidly than my current rate.
Food for thought.