There’s lots of quotes about planning that we’re sure you’ve all heard, like “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” And maybe right now you are rolling your eyes and thinking “I’m just so busy running around getting the day-to-day stuff done – I don’t have the time to plan.”
Well, here’s the tough love: not having the time to plan and focus on your business is EXACTLY why you do need to plan. Without a plan, it is impossible to prioritise your time and focus on what is important to you, your business and your life.
Put simply – you must plan for success.
Know and manage your priorities
Planning allows you to determine what is important. It helps you figure out the ‘big rocks’ – those important, must-do tasks, that will give you the greatest return for your time and drive your business forward. When you know what is important, you are less likely to fall into the trap of forsaking these tasks for what is urgent.
We recommend the priority matrix for managing distractions and regaining control of who and what gains your attention. Using a matrix of what is important and what is urgent, you end up with four quadrants.
Quadrant 1 – Urgent and important: These are the tasks you do straightaway
Quadrant 2 – Important but not urgent: These are the tasks that you plan when you will do them. Set a date and create an item for them in a task management
tool, such as Asana.
Quadrant 3 – Urgent but not important: These are the tasks that you delegate to someone else, freeing your time to focus on the important tasks. Again, use a task management tool to delegate and track progress of these tasks.
Quadrant 4 – Not urgent and not important: Dump these items. Delete the email, throw out the letter, or whatever, and keep moving forward.
A practical approach to planning
Each day, week, month, year, you need a plan to prioritise and manage your time. This is how we do it.
- 10 minutes at the beginning of each day
- 30 minutes to plan for the coming week, typically at the end of Friday
- 1 hour to plan for the coming month, during the last few days of the month
- 1 day planning for the coming quarter, during the last week of the current quarter
- 2 days planning for the year ahead, during the last few days of December
- 1 day every year reviewing life goals
We recommend that your three big goals for the year, quarter and month are written down and stuck somewhere visible. The more you see and absorb these goals, the more you will take action to achieve them.
Are you ready to take back control of your time and your business? Do you need help figuring out where your business is going and how you’re going to get there? We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to improve its performance. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.