Are you making the best use of your time? Are you feeling in control of your business activities and plans?
In a recent survey we conducted, leaders and managers like you said they felt they needed the most help with being more organised and in control of their time. You may well relate to this need yourself.
Over the next 3 weeks, we are going to look at a 3 part series on this very subject. We will also be giving away two really useful time management tool downloads at the end of the series, so stick with us for that!
We are going to look at Planning, Systems and Behaviours
For this week, let us focus on ensuring that you have a good approach to planning.
In our two part blog at the end of 2015 (part 1 and part 2), we looked at the importance of a 3 year strategy and vision for your business, whatever the size or age of your business.
This is your starting point for your ongoing planning. To ensure you keep on target to this longer term vision, you then need to first be clear on your goals. I recommend keeping these 5 things in mind:
- They need to be as inspiring and motivational as they can be
- They need to be clear and have a definite end result
- They need to be measurable objectively with an end date
- They should not be too dependent on others
- They should have stretch but not be too big so you can achieve them
Then build your goals and tasks into a 90 day plan. This can take various formats, but I like to use a “gantt” style format.
An example is shown below for “getting a website live”:
Each week is then about working the plan. Have time each week to assign these important strategic tasks to particular timeslots in the week and be as disciplined as you can in sticking to this!
Finally, you need a daily planning routine. I am a great believer in planning the next day the night before. So plan in your meetings, client work and then make sure you have time for the strategic work.
One word of warning though. Be realistic! Don’t put 15 hours of tasks and meetings into a day!
Okay, so we have started with a look at planning to help you get more organised and in control. In the next article in this series we look at adopting a more systemised approach.
As promised, you can get two really useful tools to support your organisation. The first is a 90 day planning tool in Excel. The second is a day planner which you can use to structure your meetings and tasks for the day. There is also a place to keep a permanent reminder of your Purpose, Vision, Values and 90 day goals. And a place to record you 5 positive things for the day and keep working on optimising your filtering!
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