An effective planning process will increase your productivity.
12 years ago, my wife and I developed a powerfully effective Quarterly Planning Process. We borrowed some ideas from a few mentors in our world and then added some of our own ideas. We created a workbook that enables those who attend my Planning Workshop each quarter to become crystal clear about their plans for the next 90 days. I regularly have between 10 and 20 people attend these online workshops.
For first timers it is a revelation. They have never been taught how to set goals and work backwards from each goal to create the steps required to achieve the goal. Those steps when written down become the plan.
When you know what you want (your goals) and create a plan to achieve it, you become extremely productive. It is not a one-off simple activity. Learning to set powerful motivating goals takes time. It requires that you know your self well. It requires that you know your work well so you can estimate what is possible for you and your business in 12 months. It requires that you have an effective planning process that enables you to break down the steps required to achieve your goals. An effective planning process will help you know what you must do today to achieve a goal by the end of the year.
My planning process helps you see very clearly what you must achieve this week and month to achieve your goals. It keeps you on track. The plan stops you becoming distracted by other things. It helps you to stay focused and achieve your goals. Writing this out becomes a form of accountability that shows you exactly what you must do. Instead of thinking and talking about what you want to happen, you create a written plan to make it happen.
Too busy to invest time in planning?
So many business owners tell me they need to get more organised. Many express an interest in attending when they hear about my planning process. What amuses me is how difficult they find it to book the session, carve out the time in their calendar, and turn up. They usually say they are too busy. Too busy to plan. That means nothing will change.
If you don’t create a written plan, you will almost always be too busy. You will often respond to something new and become distracted. We live in a highly distracted world. Attention spans are tiny. A recent bestselling book tells us that most people cannot focus for more than 3 minutes on any one task (Stolen Focus, Johann Hari). We have so many ‘windows’ open on our computers and in our minds all the time.
Many business owners respond to what comes in (input focused) rather than keeping their attention on where they are going and what they want to achieve (outcome focused). This creates busyness. Busyness creates the illusion of productivity. Your accountant will tell you if all your busyness has led to profit. The feeling of being busy is overrated and unhelpful as a gauge of business success.
10 Benefits of an effective 90-day planning process:
- It keeps you focused on your goals.
- You will be less distractable. You will stay outcome focused rather than input driven
- You will be more accountable. Written plans are a major form of accountability.
- You will be more consistent. You will be less overwhelmed and have
- You will know the most important thing you must do today.
- Your productivity will soar. Usually at least 20% in the first quarter. If you continue to use the planning workbook week to week you will become even more productive.
- You will have more time. More focus helps you say ‘no’ more often to those things that are less important and often distracting you from your purpose.
- You will have a less cluttered mind (and life). Many business owners have very little mind space left from all the activities and details they carry. A written plan that you implement and work from each week will help simplify your life.
- You will make more money. Making money is a by-product of consistently pursuing a well-crafted plan towards a goal.
- Others will find it easier to work with you. When you are organised and know what your focus is, it makes it much easier for others to work with you.
There are multiple benefits of investing the time to create and follow an effective planning process.
Do you need help to plan?
My online quarterly planning workshop is on Thursday September 29 from 8:30am to 12:00pm. In those 3.5 hours I will help you to plan the final Quarter of 2022. The main things you want to achieve in your business and across your life will be written down and scheduled in your planner.
If you would like to join us, please click here. This link will provide you with more information and access to book your place in the workshop.
If you would like to talk more about helping you create a strategic plan for your business please book a call with me here.
You can also learn our 90-day planning process with this Online Video Course.
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Over the years I’ve written many articles about planning process! Here are a few of my favourites to help you integrate your work into all other parts of your life.