When it comes to planning, so many of us know how important it can be in helping reach our goals, but we often stall when it comes to actually committing plans to paper.
Having a plan, any plan, means you are more likely to get things done. Here are my top tips to help you get planned and make the plans happen.
- Plan your day, your week, your month and your year.
Spending time planning will save you time when it comes to implementing your actions. Each day spend a small amount of time planning your day, 10 minutes is often enough; each week set aside some time to plan the week ahead and so on.
Some tasks happen regularly so it is easy to know that they need to be added in. If you are using a digital planner you can set recurring tasks saving time even on the planning!
- Look at your priorities.
Not everything you need to do is urgent, and not everything needs to be done by you. I love Covey’s Quadrant for assessing your tasks. It is a fairly simply concept where you look at how urgent and important your tasks are, and you put each task in the correct box. You can now prioritise your tasks, doing the highest priority first. Sounds obvious doesn’t it, but how often do we let ourselves get side-tracked or procrastinate?
- Analyse how you spend your day.
You might feel busy all day but busy isn’t always productive. Why not track your time and see what you’re really doing. Use an app or pen and paper to note down your activities that you do throughout the day and look back on what you have been doing. Are you being productive and getting things done, or are you distracted by things that simply waste your time?
- Allocate time blocks.
Time blocks are finite chunks of time, e.g. an hour or 90 minutes, where you focus on one task. This is perfect for the tasks that can run away with you or seem never-ending. Set a timer for an end time and be present in the one task that you are doing. Instead of a timer you could have another cue to represent when the time ends, for example work on one task for the length of a washing machine cycle.
I love planning, and I believe in its power. I have my time planned in advance, and when I can plan I do – I have a weekly menu planner for the family and shopping list; I write a list of packing items when I go away; I have a list of home improvements to work through and tick off.
Now is the perfect time to start your plans and reach your goals – What’s stopping you?
Ann Little is a Virtual Executive Assistant
She supports small business owners helping them make their business plans happen. She works with her clients to grow their businesses both on the planning side and the doing side. If you need help in your business but don’t know where to start contact Ann.
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