Do you want to be a better planner?
Does the thought of having the upper hand on the planning process appeal to you?
Whether you’re planning a three-week tropical vacation, designing a new website, or planning a marketing campaign at work, there are universal aspects when it comes to making plans.
In this post, I review a few things you should know about the planning process, and offer some tips to help make your planning sessions the best they can be.
It takes time to plan.
You grab a cup of coffee, round-up your notes, settle into your favorite chair. You spend the next two hours brainstorming and piecing together a plan for your parents’ sixty year anniversary. You’re all finished with your plans…right? Not necessarily so. While we might think of a planning session as a one-time deal, planning takes time. This is especially true if the plans you are constructing are for something large, lengthy, and complex.
It’s perfectly okay to spend more than one session planning a project. You might even find it more helpful to have multiple planning sessions to make sure you didn’t leave out any items in the initial rounds. Ensure you’ll actually show up to your planning sessions by physically scheduling time for them into your calendar.
Planning isn’t frivolous.
Some may think planning is a waste of time. Why should you stop and make a plan when you can spring into action? For starters, planning can save you a lot of wasted time, energy, and effort. Having a plan in place will make it easier for you to allot the above mentioned resources: your time, your attention, and your application. You’ll know what you should be working on, and when, at any given point in time.
Besides, when you create a carefully constructed plan, your work will hum along quicker than if you didn’t have a plan. So, go ahead and take time to slow down, compose yourself, think carefully, and make some plans for your next project.
It doesn’t matter whether you plan on paper or on-screen.
One thing is for sure: a plan, is a plan, is a plan. It really doesn’t matter if you use a pencil and paper, or a digital tablet to craft your plan. It’s much more important to have a plan in the first place! Choose whatever method you prefer. As long as you are comfortable and can freely refer to your notes, you’re good to go.
If you retain facts and figures better on your tablet, fantastic. If you’re more of a pen and paper type of person, go for it. You might even consider developing a hybrid method of your own; such as using paper to flesh out the initial stages of a plan, and switching over to a digital app to house and track your progress. Unsure whether you should use a digital or paper planner? Take this short quiz to find out.
You get better with practice.
Planning is like any other skill, the more you do it, the better you’ll become over time. This applies to any type of planning, whether you’re making plans for a business luncheon, or planning your weekend. Over time, you’ll know exactly what questions to ask, when to ask them, what to keep an eye out for, and so on.
Planning something for the first time? The best thing to do is to be patient with yourself. You could also ask someone else who’s been something similar to show you a few pointers. Should you have the luxury to do so, give yourself more time to complete your planning.
How about you? How would you describe your planning skills? Can you relate to any of the above pointers? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!