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Weekly Course on Time Management – Week 4 – How To Plan Ahead For Super Success
In today’s lesson, I will be showing you how to plan ahead for super success. Before I go into all the tips below on time management, let me clarify to you that I am no guru on time management.
What I share with you is what I am learning and practicing myself. I am motivated by success because I love a good challenge. I am intrigued by successful people because I am curious about how they manage their time.
Despite my craving for success, I believe that squeezing out a few extra hours per week for fun is necessary for happiness. All work and no play is soul-sucking. But how does one balance work and play successfully? It all boils down to managing your time effectively.
When you manage your time smartly, you will be in control of your time and life. And you will be able to do more things that you love to do in life without being chained to your obligations.
So, how does one plan for success while still allowing for playtime? We all have 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year. Yet, some have time to do everything, and some are barely making it through life. Whether you think of it as a privilege, luck, or hard work, one thing is for sure, the ones who are excelling in life have it all figured out.
They have a plan. And it is not just the plan for the day, or the week, or the coming month. They have planned for years to come. They have a long-term strategy in mind, and they know exactly what they must do in the next 5 years to be where they want to be in the next 10 years.
In today’s lesson, I will share the importance of planning and the strategies that you must learn to get your planning right.
Importance of Planning Ahead
Planning ahead of time is a great way to be in control of the situation. It allows you to be prepared for the day, week, and month. It is like you have a roadmap for your life in the coming days. You know where to start from and where to reach. In case there are bumps and roadblocks on the way, you know what alternate route you must take to get to your destination.
Planning prepares you for the worst possible circumstances. When you plan, your mind has already thought about 10-20 different possibilities, and if you have an analytical mind, you can think of 2-3 solutions for each of those 10-20 possibilities. But more than that, planning allows you to be true to your commitments. When your plans are on paper and stare at you every day, you are bound to feel the urge to check them off the list.
How to Get Your Planning Right?
Studies have shown that successful people in managing their time always have a plan and follow it through. These strategies will help you schedule your days and weeks effectively so that you, too, can manage your time efficiently.
Start with A Broad Scope in Mind
Ask yourself what you would like to achieve within this year or this quarter of the year. Once you have that figured out, please write it down in big and bold letters on the top of your list of plans. Now break that plan down into workable steps or actions. What must you do to ensure that you follow that plan? For example, if you want to start a home-based business, then your workable steps will be:
- Conduct a market survey
- Set up a website
- Contact potential clients
- Check the specifications for a bank loan
And so on…
Narrow Down Your Scope to Weekly and Daily Plans
Now that you know what your plan(s) for the coming months will be, you can narrow it down to weeks and days. Let’s continue with the example above. You know that to establish your home-based business, you must conduct a market survey and get an idea about the market rates. So, make a goal that you will personally meet four store owners who are in the same line of business like the one you are going to start in this week. That’s your weekly plan.
Break it down further. Naturally, you can’t meet all the four store owners in one day because remember, you are a busy bee homeschool mom.
So, take the first 2 days of the week to do your research about these stores, their owners, and their range of products or services. Make a list of questions that you want to ask and things that you would like to observe while you are there. Once that’s done, spend the rest of the week’s four days (excluding Sunday, the family day) to visit these stores and speak to the owners or management.
Streamline Further to Hourly Plans
Yes. Even though your days, weeks, and months are planned, you must plan your hours too. You must know precisely what you will be doing in these 2 hours and the next 3 hours that follow. This will help you control time, and that is precisely what time management is all about. It will also help you deal with the unexpected events that will sneak their way into your planned day.
So, when you wake up in the morning, just take 10 mins to jot down your hourly plans quickly. Keep an eye on the watch as you follow through with these plans, and I can assure you that you will become a pro at time management within no time.
- Start with monthly plans
- Narrow down to weekly and daily plans
- Break it down further to hourly plans
Good luck with your planning!