If you are reading this Rule of Thumb for Business blog you are looking for ways to make your work life more productive and successful. Am I right? I thought so.
As an entrepreneur, I know you understand the concept of planning. Yet, how often do you practice planning? At the beginning of a venture, whether starting a new business or modifying some aspect of a current business, planning takes a front seat, and yet, I know the complications of everyday tasks can, and do push on-going planning to the back.
Some days it can feel that the only thing you can do is keep pushing forward with hardly time to come up for air. I would like to challenge that notion and, give you permission to make more time for planning. As a business owner, in this ever changing landscape it is a must to spend time planning.
“Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort”.
Paul J. Meyer
By time, I do not mean once a year prior to a big shareholder meeting, or goal setting retreat. Planning time needs to become a weekly, scheduled event. For your organization to realize the success you imagine you must create planning time on a regular basis. Without planning for it, how will you ever know if you have reached your destination?
I challenge you, starting today; make time, perhaps daily at first, for planning. It doesn’t need to be a lot of time. Start with thirty minutes. Thirty minutes of uninterrupted time for you to think, dream, and conceptualize what you want to achieve in the next year.
This planning time may feel foreign to you. Perhaps you have never spent quiet time thinking about the future before. You may need to start by asking yourself a question. Nothing earth shattering, something simple; what do I want my company to look like in one year? No doubt you will have ideas, maybe more than you even thought, write them down. Do not edit, do not delete. Just let the ideas come. Keep doing this for a week, maybe more.
After a week of quiet month, six months from now, next year, three to five years out? Put the plans/ideas in the proper category.t, planning time you will have a list of ideas. Now, you can share these with your team, or by yourself, start categorizing the ideas. Are there ideas for today, next year.
When you have narrowed your list of plans to those that you wish to begin actively working on, put them on your daily planning radar. Just because the idea has been stated, does not mean that the need to plan has ended.
Each day during your planning time, focus on your desired goals. Think deeply about the, who, what, why, when and how of them. When plans change, and they will, you may have to re-focus your energies, but keep the planning time. Our brains need time to process and to find creative solutions to everyday challenges. By taking this time for yourself your business will reap many rewards.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
― Benjamin Franklin