Planning Pays off
When you’re working on a big project, it’s easy to get daunted. By planning the project, and breaking it up into smaller, easy to achieve “mini-goals” you make it seem much less daunting and more achievable. Plus, whenever you reach one of your smaller goals, you get that extra boost of confidence needed to keep you going.
When you focus really hard on a project, it’s really easy to gain a lot of focus and get “on a roll”. The problem is, sometimes you get off track while your focus is so narrow and you end up wasting your concentration on something that doesn’t need to be done, or will need to be redone. By having a clear, written plan, you can always check back to it while you’re working to make sure what you’re doing serves the ultimate purpose of your project.
While the idea of planning is easy, actually making a plan can take some effort. Start by breaking down everything that needs to get done into “bite sized” tasks. You don’t need to plan everything down to the minute, but break it down logically by what needs to get done, who needs to do it, and what they need to get it done with.
Once you’re done breaking things down, organize them into an ordered list depending on what order things need to be done in, when people and materials are available, and when certain parts just have to be done by. You can then fit this to a reasonable timeline for getting everything done.
Once you get your plan and get started, you can use it to motivate yourself. Why not plan small incentives for getting parts of the plan done? This could be anything from a night out to bringing donuts into the office – whatever motivates you or your team. If small incentives aren’t working, try motivating yourself and others by remembering your ultimate goals, like a better work title or a new car. Thinking about these objectives will help motivate you until the end.
While it’s great to have a plan, always be prepared to revise the plan if needed. Constant revisions are generally a waste of time, but if there are major changes you didn’t anticipate, it will be worth your time to take a second look at your plan and make changes if needed (or verify that everything is as it should be).
Planning projects is a great way to successfully finish them and feel accomplished, but if you really want to make waves, you need to take planning a step further and start planning your business as a whole. You can use the same concepts of determining your ultimate goals, breaking it into steps, determining who and what you need and developing a timeline. A life goal probably needs a bit more thought and revision than a project, but the reward is that much sweeter.