Having a plan, regardless of how simple, can be a massive time saver. How many times have you had a job to do, but instead of getting on with it, you find yourself staring at it waiting for inspiration to strike? Only to eventually give up and see what Netflix has waiting for you? If your reading this, then I guess this may be the case. Hopefully some of the simple ideas that I use every day can help you.
The Perfect Time to Plan
Picking a time to plan is a personal choice. I find that the best time is when your mind is at rest. I like the quite of the morning, but if my day hasn’t gone as planned I will create one before going to sleep. When failure happens, it’s best not to dwell on it, as only fools get things right the first time every time. Failure occurs due to a poorly made plan. When this happens you need to reassess if the plan was actually achievable and start again.
Steps to Planning Success
- Set the Goal
A goal can be anything, but it will be nothing unless it is defined. What is it? What needs to be done? You can call it different things, such as a task or an achievement, but I find that goal suits better as it reflects an idea of something tangible. Try to make the goal as simple as possible, if you can’t fit it into one short sentence then it may be too complex.
- Break it into Smaller Parts
Even though a goal may be simple, it could still be herculean in scope. In this stage examine if the goal can be broken down into smaller parts. This step is pivotal if the goal has already failed to be completed once before.
- Set a Time for Completion
Give the task a time frame. This step can be difficult if you are not aware of how long things can take. If it is the first time you are completing a task, set a timer and see how much can be achieved in a given time. I find that thirty minutes is a solid block to start. Once you are aware of how fast you work, you can begin to set more reasonable times. Timing your work is also beneficial in self evaluation.
- Reward Yourself
Everyone loves getting a pat on the back. If you achieved your results then you deserve something for it! Self-rewarding is a valuable part of slaying the procrastination beast that dwells inside us all. Eventually you will see sitting down for a bit of Netflix (or what ever feeds the beast) as the reward, instead of the distraction. Just make sure the reward fits the task, so no trips to Paris for cleaning out the car!
Working With Others
It is very easy to let yourself down and not get that thing done. Having others that rely on your input can be a brilliant motivator and can be the flint that lights the fire. Collaboration comes in many forms and you don’t necessarily need to work with people, find an online group that you can share your work with. Support from peers can lead to dramatic swings in achievement.
Keep on Trucking
Best of all don’t get down on yourself if you fail the meet your goals. Review the plan and have another go!