To plan or not to plan.
Planning is talked about so much these days. Plan your day. Plan your life. Map out a plan. Books are written on planning with step by step tools to walk you through the planning process. Seminar speakers discuss the importance of planning and each year companies, firms and individuals present their plans for the year. Is planning important and if so, how should you consider planning and your approach to planning?
Planning can be very beneficial.
If you don’t have a map, how do you know how to get there? A saying often heard. But there is a lot of truth to it. If you are going to set out to achieve something or reach for something in your professional or personal life, having a plan of action will give you the structure and focus to ensure that you are much more likely to reach your goal. In our society today, business demands more from each of us and the distractions are becoming more and more each day. And to get your attention companies are trying for even more visibility to get your attention. All of this pulls on each of us and can pull your focus from your goals and objectives.
So start with a plan of action detailing where you want to go with this particular goal and how you will get there.
Success is only in implementation.
Success is almost always achieved through the majority of your effort spent on implementation and execution of your plan, not the planning itself. Careful planning is crucial to enable you to go in the right direction and to lay out the steps you need to go through to achieve your goal. But the actual execution and daily implementation of your steps is crucial to your success. It can feel tiresome and difficult to keep the momentum going while you are in execution mode, but when you begin to gain traction and hit small and large milestones and successes toward your goal you will be even more motivated to continue.
Only through execution will you see which steps work, which ones don’t work quite as well and other opportunities that will arise from your action steps that you are taking. Be willing to slightly adjust your plan and action steps as you determine, through your active implementation of your plan, what is working, what is not and what you need to do to be more effective. Don’t apply energy and effort to steps that aren’t leading to effective traction. But you won’t know which steps work and which ones don’t until you start. Only through action will you see what is effective.
Allow time for results.
Many give up too quickly and their efforts are essentially wasted when they don’t keep the momentum going just a little longer. Give yourself time with each step for it to fully work. Also take a look at each step and determine which steps need time to yield results and which ones you need to redirect after a short time. For example, if you are continuing to network with a particular group and no referrals are coming, continue to stay in touch but launch into new referral groups and sources. The original group is fine but apply less time and shift that time to adding a new networking group or set of referrals to keep in contact.
As the saying goes, plan your work and work your plan. So set a plan and then start working it!