Copyright 2006 Jennifer Givler
Weve all heard the saying: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. But I like to think of it another way. Ask yourself, am I planning to succeed?
In business, its important to follow a plan. Its important to have a plan for your year, each week, and each day. Otherwise, youre being reactive in your business instead of being proactive. When youre proactive, you control your business it doesnt control you.
Here are three easy-to-follow tips to creating and following a successful plan:
1. Start with the end in mind. Set a deadline for your goal. Write the completion of your goal on the deadline date in your calendar. Then, work backward by putting tasks in your calendar each day or each week. For example, if you want to send out a mailing this spring, choose the date that you want the mailing to go out. Then, work backward to create a to-do list each week. If you wanted to send your mailing out on April 1, you would write, edit mailing on March 31, and finish creating mailing on March 30 and so on. Do this for each goal that you have. Before you know it, youll have weekly, and even daily plans laid out.
2. Spend time each day planning. Take 15 minutes every day to create a plan. If you follow the example above, youll have a broad plan to follow. However, life is full of opportunities, and you dont want to miss out on anything. Life is also full of things you dont plan on like having to get the hot water heater fixed. Youll need to spend some time planning to include unexpected things into your day. Its ok to change your plan, move things around, and re-arrange your schedule. It happens, and its ok to shift your plan to make room for the unexpected things.
3. Put strong activities on your to-do list. There are actually certain things that you dont need to include in your to-do list. The little things. The things that will get done no matter what. For example, dont put mail the bills on your to-do list. Keep your priorities on your to-do list. Put incidentals or non-essential tasks on sticky notes. Once theyre done, throw the note away. Also, dont put little things on your to-do list just for the satisfaction of having something to cross off.
Planning to succeed doesnt have to be intimidating or overwhelming. Simply set your goals and follow these three tips. Before you know it, the road to success will be laid out right in front of you.
Remember any good plan needs to be put into action. Its not enough to simply write words on paper. You must go forward and create your results.