“I’m a doer not a planner.”
“I get things done, I don’t waste time with this planning stuff.”
“I’m too busy to plan.”
What do you make of these statements?
Would you hire someone to run your business, project, P&L, product line, or build your home who doesn’t plan, think things through?
Would you hire you?
Okay, let’s say planning is important.
Where is the break between planning and doing?
The easy cases are the two ends of the spectrum. Those stuck in analysis paralysis and those running around crazy busy. Both run the risk of not producing business results.
The hard case is identifying where the optimal break point between planning and executing.
In practical terms there is no break point. Planning and executing intertwine so closely, a well run business or project is in constant planning, executing, adjusting (change order) and executing mode.
Where do you start? A crisp well thought out goal will save you a ton of time and redoing activities later on. And save you headaches from poor planning.
The point at which you want to start executing is dependent on the risk inherent in the project and your risk averseness.
You might not want to start building a bridge or an aircraft until you’ve planned it out pretty darn well. On the other hand a business gpostth plan, product launch, new project you could start executing very early and iterate continually.
Reduce headaches from poor planning.
Regardless, follow these 5 steps to planning and you’ll save yourself headaches from poor planning.
- Set a crisp goal, a SMART goal. Make sure the goal aligns well with your values and wants or you may frustrate yourself and others when you hit roadblocks.
- Take the time to understand why you want this goal and desired outcome. What’s the business reason, the personal reason to accomplish the goal? You will execute with energy and excitement if the goal aligns well with your wants, your why.
- Understand your realities, your obstacles. Deal with facts and if needed the harsh realities.
- Brainstorm all kinds of ideas to overcome the obstacles.
- Cherry pick the best ideas and execute. Repeat as necessary to get to the desired outcome.
Review and revise constantly, even daily. Make adjustments and carry on.
It’s not so hard and even invigorating to get plans and actions going. And it helps avoid headaches from poor planning.
The nice side benefit of these 5 steps to goal planning is that prioritizing activities flows naturally from well thought out plans.
“Dominate your life with Focus, Decision and Execution.”