Planning is one of the most important skills we can learn in life. If done well, we can achieve what we set out to achieve. But sometimes, we take planning for granted and just put ourselves out there without a clear direction of what we want to accomplish. While sometimes being spontaneous can have its own benefits, having a plan can help us see where things went wrong, how we can overcome them and most importantly keep us track on how close we are in achieving our goal. Without a plan, we wonder aimlessly, with no clear focus and in the end we may end up losing the opportunity to seize moments.
Below is a list of characteristics essential for an effective and efficient to-do list:
1.) Keep It Simple, Clear And Minimal.
The most important characteristic a plan could have is its simplicity. A good plan whether it be a business, personal project or an academic one will be straightforward, concise and crystal clear. For a simple day-to-day plan avoid going to the minutest detail listing everything out like its a step-by-step guide. This can waste time and complicate things. Focus on the relevance of what you write down in your plan. A good plan will be short with no repetitions and clearly lays you on the path towards your goal. Don’t write down things that are given, obvious and vague. Make each point you write down count.
2.) Organize Priority.
In order to implement a successful plan, a clear set of priorities must be established. This way we can keep track of our progress. First off, write down the biggest goals – they can be identified as the ones that are formed after accomplishing a certain number of sub-tasks. It is usual for uncertain events and interests to come up. When this happens do not be afraid to alter the plan a little bit while you are doing it already. A good plan will be prepared for spontaneity – always remember that nothing can be predicted only merely expected and managed. Leave room for adjustments. When attempting the main tasks focus on the results. How each tasks is completed can determine how well you deliver the final product.
3.) Think Fast, Decide Then Execute.
Your mindset will be the backbone of how well your plan will be executed and delivered. Because of unexpected things that may happen, we can easily be swayed away from sticking to the plan. When this happens it is important we remember our purpose. Motivate yourself. Stick to the timeline. If you know the next day you will be tending to some other commitments try and find time to do that task the day before. Leaving you an extra day to prepare for another appointment and time to review the plan overall. Effective planning skills goes hand-in-hand with effective time management. Think fast, make a decision and then act upon it.
4.) Seek Out Help – Be Resourceful.
No matter what kind of plan it is, having tools and people to help you will not only help you focus but also achieve results at a faster pace. Research faster ways of attaining your goals and obtaining items. Delegate tasks that other people may be better at doing than yourself to your friends or hire a professional. On a simple day-to-today action plan, you do not need to hire a professional simply review tasks that you think will need a friend’s help. Leverage your colleagues talents and communicate with yourself what needs to be done early and those which can be done later. When all is done, send thank you notes to those who helped you. Set an example for everyone.