How to Properly Plan for Success
Crawford Greenwald said: “Every minute you spend planning will save you three minutes in execution.”
I’m a firm believer in the old saying that “proper planning prevents poor performance.”
Have you ever wondered why the majority of people are either dead or broke by the age of 65? I think one of the major reasons that so many people end up like this is due to poor organization, lack of planning, bad habits and less-than-desirable time management. Most folks who fail in life don’t plan on failing, they fail to plan!
Studies have shown that many people spend more time planning their vacation than they do planning for their retirement.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
I think no game plan is complete without the following three ways to work smarter rather than harder:
- The Calendar Book
- Flexible Planning
- Daily Habits of a World Champion
The Calendar Book
A calendar book is an important tool for helping you execute your short-term game plan and long-term destiny. You must, as the old saying goes, “Plan your work and work your plan.”
A good calendar book will help you do just that. Specifically, a calendar book allows you to list what you need to do to accomplish your goals, and also break these tasks down into daily duties and responsibilities. Only when you live day by day and accomplish small tasks will you create something monumental over the long term.
Here are some key elements to the best calendar books and how to us them to their maximum potential:
- It should be a comfortable size for you. This is something you will want to carry with you virtually everywhere you go. Because of this, you’ll want something small and flexible. Avoid trendy products or those that are too big and bulky to be carried. Some, for example, can be more than two inches thick. I believe these are not convenient enough to be carried at all times.
- It should be large enough. You are going to want to include a great deal of information in your calendar book. Not only your daily appointments, of course, but also your long-term goals, your personal mission statement and other destiny-related elements. Because of this, make certain that you purchase a calendar book that’s large enough. I also like a large-sized format because I can comfortably glance at my calendar book when I’m driving. Again, find the size that works for you. I recommend a book approximately eight by ten inches and less than one inch thick. I recommend the weekly calendar book from Letts of London. Most fine office stores carry these.
- Plan ahead. When you find a calendar book that’s right for you, begin to look in October or November for the following year’s edition. I find that I do a lot of planning for the coming year in December – you’ll want the next year’s book for this planning.
- Have only one calendar. I know this sounds pretty basic, but you’d be amazed at the people I’ve seen who keep a variety of personal organizers, wall calendars and desktop calendars. I also strongly suggest you not rely only on a computer calendar. Why? You want something that’s convenient, that you can take with you. Even laptops require charging and are not possible to use in some instances.
- Don’t separate work and personal information. This ties in closely with the first point. Again, people who want to achieve large, far-reaching destinies have goals that support both their personal and professional lives. Use one calendar to keep these two areas tied closely together.
- Record your successes. Another good thing about a calendar book is that it can become a record of your accomplishments, a diary-like way for you to savor small triumphs. Recording and then later viewing your successes is a sure way to increase your confidence. I have saved all of my calendar books, and I can look back and tell you exactly what I did on any given day since 1991 when I graduated from college.
In our next article we will talk about the other 2 ways to work smarter not harder.
**This is an excerpt from my book: “Creating Your Own Destiny”
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