Become a Daily, Disciplined Planner
Heard the old saying that “if you fail to plan then you’re planning to fail”? It’s totally true and there are a million reasons or excuses why we fail to plan. We’re too busy. Too tired. Too stressed. But taking a few minutes at the end of your workday, just before you go to bed, or before you start your day to write down a plan will actually work in your favor. Putting the plan on paper helps you create more accountability, schedule activities to accomplish your short and long-term goals, and it helps you think through problems and solutions at a deeper level. What kind of results can you expect? Like many of MAP’s top clients, you’ll become a daily, disciplined planner. Having this type of commitment to planning will get you stronger results. (Oh — and you’ll probably get more sleep!)
We could all use some zzzs after all — or at least that’s what I discovered when I became a daily, disciplined planner. For some time, I spent many a restless night, tossing and turning in bed, and going through the mental list of all I had to do the next day. But worse, I was also planning how I was going to do all those things on my mental list. It was exhausting and far from productive, so one day I gave writing “it” all down a try. The first thing that happened was I felt this great weight lift from my shoulders. There “it” all was – fixed on paper – so I wouldn’t forget. Next, I noticed that I felt really good because I instantly had clarity, focus and even a plan for navigating “it” the next day. The strategy or goals were set to some degree, right there on my paper. Knowing this, I then felt relaxed enough to fall asleep and woke up feeling more confident in my ability as a manager. Walking into work, I had that plan on paper and a pretty good idea of how I was going to accomplish it.
A very common theme we hear among business leaders and managers today is that they’re overwhelmed. Because of the tough economic times, they’re wearing too many hats, working harder than ever just to stay afloat. Consequently, they’ve pushed planning to the back burner. And that’s a mistake, albeit a correctible one, fortunately, with the small, yet significant daily discipline of writing out what’s to be accomplish today, tomorrow, this week, etc.
Why is planning important? Life is two-thirds planning and one-third delivery. Planning is a key driver in creating the goals and strategies that will deliver positive results. So if you’ve been pushing planning to the back burner — stop and make it a priority. In fact, if you haven’t yet made a New Year’s resolution, consider making a commitment to daily, disciplined planning. If you’re already losing sleep, what have you got to lose?
What’s one thing that you do to keep yourself on track?