At the start of a new year, we all start talking about planning in our professional and often personal lives. It is something many of us intend to do but then put off as it seems too hard. In planning my workload for the next few months and how I aim to achieve my business objectives, I have developed the following guiding principles. Let me know what you think…
- Time – you need quality brain time to review your business and workload – if you work best at 10am then that is the time to act – not when you have done your ‘to do’ list but as the top priority on the ‘to do’ list
- Share your ideas – 2 heads are better than one and a business colleague or associate may be able to offer some sound advice and help you think through your ideas and plans. It is not one for the darkened room!
- Background information – you don’t have to start from scratch and you may have last year’s plan as a basis for this – alternatively there are templates out there for everyone to access. you may need the project and work plans for your workload and need to factor this in from the beginning. Also don’t forget that Easter holiday you have planned!
- Milestones and targets – make sure you set some goals and plan how to celebrate success when you achieve them!
- Stakeholder engagement – who else needs to be involved and with whom does the plan need to fit in? If there are some key changes coming up, then factor those into your planning. Consider local elections and Government reviews if you work with public sector partners.
- Timeframe – you may wish to plan over the next 6 months, a year or longer but focus on the timeframe that is most achievable while remembering the long term plan. It may only be headlines for future years at this stage.
- Taking action – What are you going to do to make this plan happen? Start taking action now and set aside time to bring the plan alive.
- Tell people about it – when you have written it, make one of the actions to tell people about it – your colleagues and associates will support you and hold you to account – this will keep you on the straight and narrow!