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Are you planning to fail?

failureImage by 'PixelPlacebo' via Flickr

I cannot begin to count the number of books and article written on planning and organization.  Which leads to a question: Why are people still writing these articles and books? The answer: Because so many people are terrible at planning and organizing.

Why?

One simple answer is that people like to keep their options open. They will go into the week with meetings set and lunches planned but they do not want to commit time that is open on their calendar to specific tasks. Even when on closer examination those tasks are far more important than the meeting or lunch.

The answer is pretty simple. People do not take time to plan. We are in such a hurry every day, along with an ever increasing number of distractions to interupt us. 

Here is a simple set of tools you can put in place now to improve your effectiveness. Do these things and you will become more effective. 

  1. Take one hour each week to plan. Shut off your phone(s), PDA, iPad, computer, pager and every other beeping, blinking device you have. 
  2. Plan your week. Start with what must get done. List the items you have to do.
  3. Put a star next to each item that generates income in your business.   
  4. Put a number next to each item on the list (do not use the same number twice).
  5. Put time on your schedule to complete these tasks. If it is going to take many hours, block multiple time slots over the week.
  6. Next week at the same time, review your progress and go to step 1.

Is it really that simple, yes. You can do this with a pad of paper, stickey notes, index cards or the most sophisticated planning software you can find. The key is to make time for the tasks in priority order and then start doing.

NO excuses, NO exceptions.

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