Easy Steps For Effective Planning

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Introduction
Before we begin, let me ask you a simple question: What is planning?
Planning is the process of goal setting; developing the approach to achieve those goals; outlining activities; prioritizing them; and creating a schedule that brings us closer to the goals that we set. With this understanding, we can strive to focus on the goal and work effectively to achieve it. Effective planning is one of the best methods to manage your time in order to use it to your advantage. In various “corporate training program” we hear, “if you fail to plan you plan to fail”, because spending time without proper planning will lead you nowhere.

 

Following a plan is just like following a map. You know where you have reached, how far you are from the destination and how long you will take to reach your goal. Your exact position helps you decide what actions will best suit your goal.

Do not spend time, invest it

Number of corporates search for “best corporate trainers” who can conduct successful effective and time management training program. Planning is considered one of the most important tools in managing time. It is crucial and needs to be done at an early stage.

If we compare time with money, and every moment is money, then each second “spent” is each second “wasted” and each second “invested” in doing something that gets you closer to your goal, is each second “saved”.

“Best Corporate Trainers in India” helps in building step-by-step sequential list of actions that will help you reach your goal with a great deal of time and energy conserved through their powerful training program.

Crisis can be managed and contingencies can be handled with effective planning.

For any step that you have to carry on, you need to have a plan. Each planned step takes you closer to your goal. Planning will give you a direction to achieve your target in a simpler way. Effective planning not only saves time and money, but also helps to avoid effort from being wasted and to conserve resources.

Benefits of planning

Let us look at some of the crucial benefits of planning:

  • Planning is chalking out what course of action you propose to undertake.
  • Planning gives an approximation of the time required for completing any task.
  • It gives a fairly good idea about the expenses involved in the task.
  • It enables you to be prepared for emergencies.
  • A well thought out plan gives you a clear idea about what is to be done every day, every week and every month.
  • Unnecessary effort and duplication of tasks can be avoided with the help of proper planning. If there are multiple people involved in the plan, they can all understand their roles clearly.

Good planning ensures success and gives you motivation. Our renowned “Motivational Guru” Mr. Vivek Bindra states … If you know where you are going, you are much more likely to get there. Others working with you will be much more effective and interested.

Before we get into the details of planning, what steps are involved in it and what the best planning techniques are. A good “Corporate Training Programs in Delhi” or in your own state can help you to know where an individual stand in terms of planning.

Steps in planning

There are six simple steps in planning being talked about. If you follow them in order, your chances of making errors would come down to a great extent. You will notice that once you create a plan, there will be a lot of clarity in your everyday life.

Let us see what these steps are and how we can improve our lives by climbing each step.

Step 6: Evaluate
Step 5: Work the plan
Step 4: Create the plan
Step 3: Consider alternatives
Step 2: Identify resources
Step 1: Define the task

 

Figure 1: Six steps of planning – Climbing the success ladder

For example, if I want to write an article, invest time in networking, search for a school for my children, pay the electricity bill and so on, all without a proper plan, I will feel so lost that I would not know what to do!

These steps will come in handy in planning your day to day activities. There are so many things you need to do in a day, that you will feel lost without a plan. Which ones should you do first, which ones can you skip, which of them can be done at a later date?

See for yourself the clarity you can achieve just by chalking out a simple plan. If you find any problem in gaining clarity speak to your “coach” or your Leadership Trainer”.

Step 1: Defining the task

This is the first stage in planning. Here, you need to identify the tasks that you must complete in a particular day.

Gather the need-to-know information:

  • All the facts and figures: where, when, how, what and who
  • The goals or objectives: what we are trying to accomplish

When you have answers to the questions above, it will mark the completion of this stage. Put only those tasks on the planning template given at the end of this chapter that need to be done today.

Step 2: Identifying the resources

When we consider the resources needed and available, we need to ask ourselves:

  • What resources do we need to accomplish the task?
  • What do we already have?
  • Where do we get what we do not have?
  • Are there any resources that require special attention, advance planning, or significant expense? Are there alternatives?

Once your resources are identified, you need to see how best to utilise them.

Step 3: Consider alternatives

This step relates to alternate methods and procedures that can be used to achieve the desired objectives. These might include:

  • What kind of aids can be used?
  • Which technique will be best for getting the message across?
  • This also relates to emergencies or unexpected developments. It is always fruitful to have a backup plan (Plan B).
  • Are we prepared for equipment failure?
  • Do we have backup staff members in case a member of the team suddenly becomes ill?
  • Do we have provision for time constraints?
  • How should we arrange the resources?

Plan B is extremely important because in its absence, a failure is usually taken as a setback. To interpret failure as a stepping stone to success, it is important to plan for contingencies as well.

Make space for emergencies and always keep a buffer for unexpected events like visitors when you sit down to write an article.

Step 4: Create the plan

We can all create wonderful plans on paper. But at the end of the day, we are human.

My friend had a meeting with his son’s class teacher. His planner had “15 minutes” written next to this meeting. The teacher had so much to share about the kid that the meeting went on for an additional hour. As a result, all the activities that he had planned for the next hour got postponed and he missed an important meeting.

Creating a workable plan can be a challenge.

  • It should be written with precision and focus.
  • We need to leave blank spaces for buffer.
  • A written plan tells everyone concerned what is expected, and when.
  • It provides a permanent record of the details of the plan.
  • It can serve as a checklist for what is done and what needs to be done.

Keeping a plan in writing and letting everyone concerned know what it is saves quite a lot of time. Write it to make it right!

Step 5: Work the plan

Flexibility is the key to this step. A plan is only successful if it relieves stress rather than create it. My friend created stress by formulating a plan that was not workable. Even if you have created buffer and a Plan B, you still need to keep an open mind.

  • Be sure you are ready.
  • Review the previous steps.
  • Do it!
  • Keep up with the written plan, but be flexible and make adjustments if required.

If you do your homework before the execution, then sticking to the plan is literally a cakewalk.

Step 6: Evaluate

Like every action, planning is incomplete without proper feedback. There needs to be an assessment of the situation.

What should we evaluate about the plan?

  • Have I achieved what I decided to do?
  • Will I follow the plan all over again?
  • If not, what changes would I make?

The last step then is to document the changes to the plan so that the revised plan can be implemented successfully in the future.

Make changes in the way you plan, according to the results you obtained.

For example, if you kept more time for buffer and that affected your productivity, then your next plan should have lesser time for buffer.

Planning Template

Time slot Task Plan B and/or buffer

Take a printout of this planning template and use it as your tool to plan your day, every day. Make sure that it is not there as a soft copy in your computer, but on paper, right in front of you.

To keep yourself motivated like our Facebook Page Daily Motivation by Dr. Vivek Bindra and subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more Inspirational videos.

 

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