Planning is critical to growth in both your personal and professional life. Without creating a roadmap of where you want to go, when you want to be there and how you will get there, you will end up getting sidetracked, off your path, or just meandering through life. Whatever you want to achieve this year, now is the time to plan for it.
According to the planning fallacy, people are typically overly optimistic planners, and their projects take much longer and more effort than anticipated.
When you learn to plan better, you can create a better future for yourself and your organization. Being able to think long-term and restrain your impulses leads to success in several areas, including health, wealth and education.
Take it seriously
The best way to become a better planner is to create time for it. You may want to consider the 10-percent rule, which means he allots about 10 percent of the total time anticipated for a project to plan for the project. For example, if you expect to need 20 hours to work on a new project, you should spend about two hours planning it. Planning time is especially valuable for new projects as you learn the specifications and details.
Break everything down
Get deep into the details. Consider every step you must take to keep moving the project forward. Write it down. Get granular. This is the point where you can start managing expectations.. Instead of saying, “I want to write 500 words a day,” which is a habit, not a plan, you should ask specific questions. Ask questions about how the details will help your team succeed. Many complex projects fail because they are not fully mapped out. Aim to plan more than feels comfortable or necessary.
Create an itinerary
The next part of better planning is entering steps, milestones and deadlines into your calendar. This helps with logistics since you can see what other deadlines or conflicts you have. It also helps make the plan real. When you can see that you only have six months to accomplish something instead of a loose plan, it brings clarity to a vague goal.
Do the work every day
Whatever goal or achievement you are going after, you have to put in the effort to make it happen. That means making meaningful progress today, and everyday, not just tomorrow or next week. Immediate action is the only kind that gets anything done.
Planning requires intention
It’s not enough to merely dream about what you want to achieve, you must take time to plan for it. Set aside ample planning time and break down the details of all the steps in the process. You can then add these steps to your team’s calendar so you have action steps and deadlines. Finally, you must hold yourself accountable to doing what you set out to do. When you take time to carefully plan and chart your course, you can move confidently toward accomplishing your goals. And this wil help you thrive.