For some people “plan” is a 4-letter word.  I’ve heard some say that planning takes too much time, or even that it’s a waste of time.  Granted it does, but it’s actually an investment of time, rather than a waste of your time.

The majority of people don’t plan for the things they want to accomplish.  Some will keep ideas or an unwritten plan in the most dangerous place in the world—their heads.  NOT a good place for things to be.  There is a difference between how things play out when it’s in your head and when it’s written out in detail.  Writing it down makes it real; it comes to life and take on form.

So, what do you think of when you hear the word “plan”?  Does it make you cringe?  It’s not as bad as it may sound.  My description of a plan is “A process that includes setting goals then developing the strategies, tasks, schedules and systems to accomplish objectives of related goals.”  Planning will actually save you time, guide your actions and help you accomplish what you set out to do.  It will also help you avoid pitfalls.  There is power in the process.

If you do work from a plan, do you just work from an outline or from a detailed plan?  Your plan is your road map, so you need the details.  To create it think about what the goal or end result is; the objectives; who’s involved; other resources needed; your timeline and any constraints.  Create tasks for each objective and break them down into smaller pieces, assign a start and completion time to each.  Think about how you’re going to measure your progress and know how things are getting done if there are other people involved in the process. Plan your work and then work your plan!