Chapter 05. Writing down plans
Rich people plan for four generations.
Poor people plan for Saturday night. — Gloria Steinem
All successful time managers are good planners.
They make lists big
and small to accomplish different goals.
Every time a new project arises,
they take the time to consider what they want to achieve
and write an ordered list of all the steps needed
to complete the project.
As a rule,
every minute of planning saves ten minutes of execution.
The time you need to map out the results
you want to achieve
before you start working will save you a lot of energy
– or 10 minutes saved from every minute
you invest in planning your work before you start to head.
Once you know your goal,
make a list of all the things you think you need to do to achieve it.
Keep adding new items as you come up
with them until the list is complete.
Organize your list in two ways:
by order and by priority.
First, when sequencing,
you need to create a chronological list of activities
from the first step to the last step before the goal
or project is completed.
As Henry Ford said,
“A goal, no matter how big,
can be achieved
if you break it down into an appropriate number of small tasks.”
Second, you need to prioritize these items,
realizing that 20% of the items on your list will account for 80%
of the value and importance of everything you do.
Setting priorities helps you focus on key tasks
and activities without distractions.
As Goethe said,
“Never let the most important things overtake the least important things.”
Review your plans on a regular basis,
especially when you feel frustrated or hesitant.
Be ready to revise these plans
as you receive new information or feedback.
Remember that almost every plan has flaws,
big or small.
Don’t stop looking for those shortcomings.
As you review your plans daily,
you’ll gain new ideas,
and insights on how to get things done faster
and more efficiently than previously thought.
Action without a plan is the cause of all failures.
Resist the temptation to act
before you have carefully planned.
Make a plan to reach your goal
Perhaps the most important word associated
with success of any kind is clarity.
Successful people know very well who they are
and what they want in every area of their lives.
In addition to writing down goals,
they create action plans that are followed on a daily basis.
Once you’ve set a larger goal for yourself and your work,
you need to ask four questions:
1. What are the difficulties
and barriers between you and the achievement of your goals?
Why haven’t you reached your goal yet?
What is holding you back?
What is stopping you?
What problems and obstacles do you need to solve
in order to reach the end goal?
Of all the problems you need to solve,
which 20% of the problems will account for the 80%
between you and your goals?
2. What additional knowledge,
skills or information do you need to achieve your goal
or complete your project?
Remember the saying:
“Whatever got you where you are today is not enough to get you further.”
Where can you gain more knowledge
and skills needed to achieve your goals?
Can you buy or rent that knowledge or information?
Do you need to hone new skills
for yourself to maximize your potential at work?
What information is needed
that can help you make the right decisions in the process
of achieving your goals?
As Josh Billings wrote,
“What hurts a man is not what he knows,
but what he thinks he knows.”
3. What people,
groups or organizations do you need the help
and cooperation of to achieve your goals?
There are times when a person can provide you with ideas,
knowledge or open up opportunities for you,
helping you to achieve results far beyond your imagination.
It is also for this reason
that many entrepreneurs have entered into joint ventures
and strategic alliances with competitors to be able
to offer the other’s customers products
and services that are currently unavailable to each other provide.
4. Among the people who can help you achieve your goals,
who is the most important?
What could you give in exchange
for this person’s help and cooperation
and achieve your important goals more quickly?
The most important projects in business
and in life all around us are completed
by people who are able to draw up concrete action plans
in advance of their implementation.
Write down plans for yourself
and your work and strictly follow these plans
until you achieve success.
Ask yourself if what you’re doing today is getting you closer
to where you want to be tomorrow. ― Paulo Coelho