Now that we’ve taken a look back, celebrated our successes from last year, developed our daily success mantras and dealt with our uncertainty, let’s be sure we are well-prepared for all the days ahead.
FAILING TO PLAN
To quote Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” It’s likely you have heard this statement before. If not, you have it here for your reference. Most people find that when they plan, they accomplish much more than when they don’t plan. This makes sense. It’s important to plan long term and that begins with planning your day in advance. It’s like one of my favorite coaches (Coach Jacqui) always says, in order to win the month, to win the year, you must win the day first.
You can use one day a week to plan each day for the up-and-coming week. Alternatively, you can plan each day on the evening before. If you decide to do your planning each evening (for the next day), you should consider that this takes more discipline than planning the full week in advance.
CHOOSING A TOOL
No matter which form you choose, make sure you have the right tools. The ideal situation is to choose a tool that is cloud-based. This gives you the ability to access it no matter where you are. You just need to sync your devices.
There are many tools out there that are easy-to-use software packages that you can download to all of your devices. It uses the concept of notebooks and you make entries within each of your notebooks. You have the freedom to choose the names of these notebooks as well. You can take a look at Google Docs, Evernote, and Teamwork Projects if you really want to get deep into managing your tasks.
For people who are technologically-timid, you can plan your day using the old-fashioned pen and paper. In fact, even if you use software to manage your tasks, you should consider printing out your daily tasks lists (also known as a to-do list). Sometimes when it resides only on the computer, we forget that it is there, which prevents us from referring to it. It needs to be visible at all times.
When you map out your tasks for the day, create two other columns. The first column should be the day you started or will start the task. The second column should be a deadline for when the task should be completed. There is nothing worse than having things just sitting on a task list and never moving because there was no urgency connected to it.
Remember, a business cannot run efficiently without a task list as it is the key to efficiency. People who feel overwhelmed with the amount of work that they need to do are often the people who are not familiar with task lists or if they are, do not use task lists effectively. Don’t be one of those people!
And finally, this is not about simply checking things off a list (although it does feel really good), but more about inspiring yourself and those you work with to achieve higher goals because you can see their progress.