Following through with a Plan
I wanted to talk a little about learning to plan effectively and most importantly, following plans through.
Ultimately, planning will help you to manage your time much more effectively. Life is busy and it’s incredibly easy to feel bogged down or overwhelmed with everything going on around us. Sometimes, that’s even the excuse for not making a change - you simply don’t have the time.
However, spending just a little time every day on planning will help you to save a LOT of time in the future.
Here is an example of my own planning routine. However I am human and sometimes it just isn’t possible for me to follow every day but this is what I always aim to do and I find that it makes such a difference to my productivity.
I dedicate at least 5-10 minutes to planning.
I will start by checking appointments for that day and making sure that anything I might need is prepared.
Then I will write out my “To Do’ List for that day. Using my “Key Three” Strategy, I prioritise the most important tasks for the day and focus on getting those done first. Sometimes, this also means checking back to the day before for any tasks that went unfinished.
I also tend to scribble out a shopping list so that when I’m out I can be sure to grab what I need and save on having to go out again later.
Throughout the day, I like to cross things off the list as I go - it’s extremely satisfying and usually motivates me to keep going. I’m often surprised by how easy some of those tasks are - often I’ve built them up in my head and in actual fact once I get stuck into it, it’s rarely as bad as I imagined.
At the end of the day, I run through the list again and highlight anything I need to roll on until tomorrow. I also like to think about the day I’ve had - good, bad or ugly and make a note of anything I feel I have experienced, learned or want to remember.
Once a Week:
I usually do this on a Sunday evening or Monday morning as it helps me to feel more prepared for the upcoming week.
I look through my diary at the following week to remind myself of important appointments or events.
That way if there’s a birthday coming up or an important meeting I have the time to buy and send a card or present, do any research required for a meeting or best of all buy a new outfit if the occasion calls for one.
I also flip through and write any future appointments or events in advance.
Once a month:
Although every day when I’m going through my ‘tasks’ I feel like I’m getting a lot done I also know how important it is to set future goals for myself.
These goals don’t have to be ground-breaking, just something that feels important to me. That might be completing a particular project or forcing myself to spend more time exercising (blurgh). It can be literally anything but somehow, committing it to paper makes me feel like I’m halfway there and it tends to remain in my mind throughout the month.
So there you have it, my top tips for creating plans and following them through. Like anything, if you stick with it, it will quickly become part of your daily routine and you’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make to your life.