Friday, June 5, 2009

Plan Ahead and Stick To It

Getting things done in a chaotic environment is never easy. We all tend to live and work in chaos, so this blog post is for pretty much anybody that has a goal to do anything in life.

Lately I’ve personally been extra busy, my normal routine of writing each morning, and working on marketing / support issues in the afternoon and evenings has been turned upside down to the point where it seems like all I’m doing these days is dealing with client support. The lesson that emerges from running a business like mine in times like these is the effectiveness of planning.

The artful organization and implementation of a simple, direct, straight forward plan can, and should not be underestimated. Use your notebook paper to write a plan, or draft up a formal plan MS Word, it doesn’t matter, as long as wherever you put your plan is somewhere you frequent often throughout the day.

The notion of not having enough time in the day is akin to saying there is not enough water in the river. There is an infinite amount of time for the things you want to get done, not need, but want to get done if you plan ahead before attempting to do them.

Here is the crux of this post, the one sentence if you had to stop multitasking while reading; here is what you need to know. Create a shortlist of things you want to do, budget an hour or two for them each day no matter how busy you are, and in a few weeks you’ll be able to accomplish your normal routine, as well as enjoy the satisfaction of finishing whatever you thought you were too busy to do to begin with.

Let’s say you want to write a book, but “have no time” to do it because your 9 am to 9 pm job is insanely busy, and after working 12 hours your mind is mush. Fair enough, that’s a tough circumstance. Here’s my proposal to getting the book accomplished in a month, yes, 1 month.

Start by getting up early, each day at say 6 am for the first week. Don’t do anything at that time other than work on staying awake, being productive, etc. After a week write out a rough outline of your book, see if you can come up with chapter titles. Keep it simple; make the book 20 chapters each 10 pages long.

As week 2 begins spend that time you are alone and awake from 6 am to 8 am attempting to write 1 chapter per day. Don’t worry if every day you aren’t completing the entire thing, there will be always a new day ahead to revise, edit, and add on to incomplete chapters.

If you’ve followed my plan above in just 20 days, roughly a month if you just work on business days, you’ll have a 200 page book written and finished, you’ll also have not missed any work, had to “squeeze” in time throughout your day, or anything else that people use as an excuse to not get things done. Is it easy? No, but it’s damn effective. Getting things done is all about planning ahead, and more importantly, sticking to that plan as if your life depended on it.

No comments: