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Creating you plan


Hi

We are working through a series of weekly thoughts based around change and around “getting things done” in order to support this change. We are calling this Big skies, Big vision and this is week 7: “Creating your plan”

If you have been following the series, you will now have your vision. You have also broken this vision down into more manageable categories in which to place your activities and for each of these categories you have an exhaustive list of activities. You have also now reduced this exhaustive list down in size to the essential “must haves” and you have now sequenced these activities.

Now we need to get this sequence into a clear and manageable plan.

We are still assuming that there is only you doing the “doing” and therefore the activities will be broadly linear. There will be elements you can do simultaneously where activities are paused for any reason – waiting for others, waiting for budget, requires a specific time etc – but I’m assuming, like most of us, you only have the capability to do one thing at a time.

First of all, you will need to consider how you want to document this plan. You will need to consider several views:

  • Day by day: here are the details you will carry out daily

  • Week by week: again, this is really the detailed plan, and, in all likelihood, there will be cross-over between this and your daily plan. You may wish to use the same plan

  • Month by month: for higher level activities and to give you a broad view of the coming month

  • Year planner: to give you a high-level perspective in order to indicate what could be achieved over this timeline. This may contain your monthly plan.

  • To keep the above as simple as possible you may wish to manage only a daily and a yearly plan. The daily can be extended up to the weekly and the Yearly can be broken down to the monthly but however you manage this it is essential you hold both the detailed and the high-level views.

As mentioned, when discussing your “lists” it is up to you what you use for this and down to what works best: electronic or paper based, diary or notebook, wall chart or hand-held.

Our experience tells us that for the detailed plans (daily and weekly) it is best to have something portable that you carry at all times in order to build, refine and “cross-off”. The higher-level plans (monthly and weekly) seem to work better with something very visible, for instance a year planner or blank paper with months outlined and again the flexible post-its. This should be posted in a prominent place of work.

We would recommend that you start with the high level and spend a few hours mapping out the year on a year planner or blank paper but while thinking about your lists. Return to the categories for this and map out when you would want to complete each.

Once you have the year plan now take the next month and map each week in terms of what you would like to complete. This time take the detailed sequenced lists and map the initial activities within the month and the weeks.

Now cross-refence the month and the year. If you complete the month does this take you where you need to be for the year? If not then you may need to revisit the sequence or simply alter the activities within the month and weeks.

Now move to the days and map out the detailed activities for the coming week by day. You need to consider the number of days you can work, the actual hour and any other commitments which may eat into your time. Be brutally honest. We will discuss next week what other elements you need to include and also how you may be able to save time in order to manage this plan.

This is where the reality kicks in. Are you able to complete all you thought you could? If not, what is realistic? If not then amend the daily plan to what is realistic and following this once again review the week, the month and the year? What does this now look like? Is this where you want to be? If so then great. If not, then again next week we will discuss areas which may help. We will discuss how you retain focus and motivation and keep “ticking-off” your list day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month.

You have now created your plan and understand what you need to do each day in order to get you were you want to be by the end of the year. Next week we will discuss how to manage this plan, manage yourself and manage your time in order to assist you in “delivering” this plan and in order to stay on track.

Good luck with this and see you next week. In the meantime, and as ever if you have questions please drop us a line.

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