Planning

Planning, and we're not just talking about your to do list. Planning is written about and talked about more than it is done. Here's a few ideas to get your planning on point:

  • Schedule uninterrupted time every day to do your planning.
  • Anticipate possible problems you could encounter in your project. Not from a negative perspective but to be aware of what could go wrong, think about solutions that could be ready to help the project/task get back on track.
  • Add an extra day to each project for adequate planning and thinking time.
  • Do your planning on paper to capture all of your ideas and to be sure none of them get lost (research shows that we can only manage seven pieces of information without losing something).
  • When developing a specific plan, list the activities in steps individually on small pieces of paper and then sequence the pieces of paper (try using coloured post-it notes on a wall or window - take a picture and review it regularly to keep you on track).
  • Ensure your planning time is carried out in a quiet place where you can think.
  • Keep records of how long it takes to do an activity. You can use this information for future projects/scheduling as well as correctly pricing future projects/tasks.
  • Schedule one weekday each quarter to dedicate to business planning. This needs to be uninterrupted time to spend on your business.
  • If you have staff, encourage them to create their own plan and then to explain it in detail to you. Hold them accountable to their plan.
  • Schedule formal planning meetings with your staff regularly.
  • Use the first 10 minutes of each day to plan or review your plan for the day and the last 10 minutes of each day to review your day.
  • Set yourself calendar reminders 24 hours ahead of deadlines, it's easy to lose track of time and dates when you are ‘head down and motoring’ with a project or task.

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