Planning On Glass BoardWith just a few weeks lift in the year, the air is buzzing with end of the year activities. Sadly, though most people don’t think about the year ahead. If you haven’t already laid out your plan for next year, you’re way behind and it’s time to catch up. I know that some people cringe when they hear the word “plan” or at the thought of having to create one.  I’ve heard so many people say that planning takes too much time or even that it’s a waste of time.  The truth is that planning will actually save you time, guide your actions and help you accomplish what you set out to do.  There is power in the process.

When you don’t plan, the time that you give to execution will take much longer and decrease your productivity level.  Without going through the planning process, unexpected things happen that you didn’t think about and they derail your efforts.  You spend time dealing with the unexpected, looking for solutions to put the fire out and get things going again while work is stagnated.

It only takes about 10-12 minutes to plan your day.  That small investment will save you about two hours every day, which translates to about a 25 percent increase in your level of productivity.  Regular planning has you spend more time on activities of higher value, which in turn increases your effectiveness and your efficiency. Planning will facilitate achievement of your goals, and helps you to make good decisions, define opportunities and possible threats and can even help reduce risk and prevent loss.  Inside of the process you are able to see the resources that you need, map your route and determine how you will deal with any bumps in the road, should you hit them.  All of this becomes possible simply because you make the investment of your time and energy to create the plan.

Statistics show us that every minute that you plan saves you ten in the execution of the plan.  That translates into the time that you make to plan giving you a return of ten times, which is 1,000 percent on the investment of your time and personal energy.  That is huge!  Where else can you make an investment and get this kind of return?

Without planning you don’t know exactly what you’re working on from day to day, every week and over longer periods of time so you play the guessing game on a regular basis or you get in the middle of doing a particular thing and notice that there’s something that you forgot to do—something that should have been done before you started working on your current task.  You also get to points in your process when you realize you don’t have something that you need. Not a good scenario when you’re trying to make things happen and complete the projects on your agenda or reach your goals. You want to know what that next step is. If you don’t it will cost you.

With a plan you’ve done the work that has you already halfway there. Your plan is your map that gives you what you need to move forward and a great chance of success. So, the next time you hear the word “plan”, don’t cringe, embrace the power that the process gives you.  Get prepared for 2015. Plan your work, and work your plan!

 

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