Why should I plan?
A question that people ask all of the time.
Whenever I plan to do something, something else always gets in the way.
Everything else happens in my day and I can’t get anything I plan done.
The reason people struggle to achieve the things they want to achieve, is because they don’t take the time to properly plan what they want to achieve. They have an idea of what they want, but simply create a rough plan in their head and then try to make it happen.
The problem here is, everything else is inside your head as well, current problems, future problems, other things you have to or need to do etc, etc. They all sit there confusing you, overwhelming you, making you forget about things, even distressing you.
If there is something you want to achieve that is really important to you, you need to stop and get it out of your head onto paper or digital version. As soon as you start doing this, you are able to become much clearer on what you want to achieve and more focused on achieving it. It is said, that when a plan is written down, your chances of achieving it increase by 1,000%.
There are 3 key reasons for you to create a plan;
- To create clarity
The clearer the picture you have of what you want to achieve, the greater the chances you have of achieving it. When you take the time to take that picture that is in your head and write down on paper, you are able to clarify exactly what you want.
It is like taking a photo, you end up with either a great picture that you look at all of the time and show everyone, or a blurred photo that you don’t look at and delete.
Whilst the picture stays in your head, it has a tendency to be blurred, as it is caught up with everything else going on in your head.
When this clear picture is in front of you on paper or screen, it enables you stay focused, even when times are tough and there is a lot going on, it keeps you on track.
- To enable you to define specific goals
From a clear picture, you can now determine exactly what the specific target/goals are that you need to achieve to make this picture come to fruition.
You can set your time lines and measurements that will allow you to keep track of where you are up to and what you need to do next.
- To enable to you determine the important activities you need to complete
Once we have set our targets/goals we can now determine the activities/actions we need to take to achieve our goals.
These activities/actions become you focus point. They are the important activities that must be completed, and when carried out, will see you achieve your goals and make your dreams come true.
When you create a plan to achieve something, you are basically planning on making something happen in your future. A good example of this is going on an overseas holiday.
We decide we want to travel somewhere overseas and then go to a travel agent. The agent helps us build a very clear picture of what our holiday will be, where we stay, what we will do there, how we will get there and so on.
The agent then provides you with a quotation, letting us know that if we wish to holiday on a certain date, you will need to book and pay a deposit by a specific date and then have the final payment made by a specific date.
With this knowledge, we can know determine how much money we need to have on those specific dates to pay for the holiday and can now determine how much money we need to save each week.
We now have;
- A clear picture of where our holiday will be, what we will do when we are there and how we will get there and back.
- Specific goals/targets that we need to achieve, deposit, final payment, spending money, passports etc.
- We now know the most important activities/actions that we need to complete to make our holiday happen. Save a specific amount of dollars each week.
By creating this plan for our holiday, we have significantly increased our chances of taking this holiday by having a clear and specific plan, that lets us know exactly what the most important activity is, that we need to complete. (Saving a specific amount of money each week). We can use the brochures and pictures of the holiday, to continue to remind us why we are saving this money.
If you have never taken the time to plan what you want to achieve, or struggle with planning, a simple way to start the planning process, is to take some time to plan your day. At the end of each day, take the time to see what you have achieved that day, and then think about and create a list of everything you need to do the next day.
Review your list and determine what are the top five most important activities you need to complete and number them 1 to 5. When tomorrow starts, complete the top 5 activities in their sequence. When they are completed, determine the next 5 most important activities and work on completing them. Bear in mind, from the time your day starts, more activities will be added to the list.
There are many things that happen in each day that will make you struggle with getting these prioritised activities completed, but if you complete them in their sequence and do this every day, you will start to see massive changes in what you are achieving in your work and your life.
Always remember, successful people don’t have time and then plan, they have time because they plan..
Peter Johnson – The Time Retriever – is a business productivity coach, he provides a range of workshops and programs aimed at helping people get control of their day, and creating greater levels of success in their lives.