When I have asked my solo-preneur/small business owners how they plan and keep track of their work I usually find they keep overwhelming lists of to dos.
Having just finished Mind Masters 3rd Quarter Strategy workshop I always stress that a specific plan of action is essential to progress and success. A worthwhile plan is more then a to do list, it is a design, a blueprint.
~Action steps implement the chosen strategy and tactics to realize chosen goals and results.
~Action steps or action planning is a tedious, but critical, part of the planning process. It is a matter of spelling out step by step each of the accountability steps that must be completed. It requires careful thinking about the timing involved and the manpower requirements.
~Action steps with completion dates can also provide a measurement of progress towards any objective. Breaking each task down to small steps keeps the process from being overwhelming. It allows time for skill development. Complex skills take practice. Small action steps increase the mastery of the game, which adds to the passion, and creativity needed to sustain the motivation for winning.
Over the years my own experience of working with a PDA caused me to be overwhelmed. I went back to a system that had helped me put organization into my to do list. It’s called a Planner Pad (www.plannerpad.com). It has been the key for me to take control of my plans, projects and goals once I have clearly defined what I wanted to accomplish.
Yearly, quarterly and monthly planning has been an important aspect of Mind Masters from day one – but having a way to filter those plans into productive action needed a tool that would get me the results I wanted.
The key is to categorize your high priority, high payoff items first, both business and personal. They can be referred to as:
Activities Results Projects Commitments
Some of the things we do are routine, but we still need to be reminded about them, while projects or results require a more detailed list for completion along with time frames. It helps balance everything you do – in your work, home and personal life.
On a weekly basis, when you do your planning, it is easy to choose the things from each list that must be done within that time frame. Each day, based on your schedule you can easily funnel specific actions down knowing you have allotted the time to complete them.