“Failure to plan is planning to fail”
“Plan your work and then work your plan”
I am a planner so these well-worn clichés are etched into my psyche.
This is why every Sunday I lay out a plan for the upcoming week integrating both the professional and personal parts of my life.
It’s a ritual I will not miss.
Here’s how I do it:
- I review the previous week and see what was left undone and decide what to do with them (add them to the upcoming week, not do them at all, etc.).
- I compile all the ideas, tasks and thoughts I’ve collected over the previous week and add them to my master Outlook Task List.
- Next I look two to three weeks out in my calendar and add to my list any work I need to do to be ready for upcoming meetings and events. I will also resolve any scheduling issues.
- I may block out time in my calendar to focus on an important task that requires quiet to do well.
- Then I will print a pocket-size card of the tasks I’ve chosen to focus for the week. It stays with me (held in a Levenger “shirt pocket briefcase“) all the time. If my list doesn’t fit on a 3″ by 5” card then it’s too long.
- Finally, each morning I will evaluate the previous day and then highlight the tasks that I want to achieve that day.
Simple enough yet when I don’t create a plan I feel as if I’m going through my week running with scissors.
When I do I enter each day with confidence that I know what I need to do to have a successful week.