Planning is something I like to do and am known for amongst my family and friends. Planning includes monthly dinners with friends, neighborhood get-togethers, holiday parties, vacations, and reunions. I can write a grocery list in the order of how items are stocked on the shelves.
Planning for work gives me the same enjoyment. There is not a better feeling than putting my weekly work plan into place and checking off items as they are completed. However, at the end of most weeks, I have felt disappointed and defeated because I had not checked everything off my weekly plan. It wasn’t until I learned to create a time-managed action plan that I realized I was not checking everything off the list because there were not enough hours in the day to complete all my tasks.
I would like to offer you a few tips for creating a time-managed action plan.
- Create your daily plan in half-hour increments, listing in detail what will be completed, how it will be completed, who is involved, how much, and by when to start and finish.
- Prioritize your plan with items labeled as “critical few.” These are your tasks that you consider to be extremely important to you and extremely urgent to someone else, such as coaching, urgent client requests, or client meetings. Items having lower priority in your plan would be the minor many. These are the tasks that, yes, need to be done but are somewhat important and less urgent. It might be that you have to sign the holiday cards being sent to your top clients.
- Plan to complete the most difficult tasks in the morning when you and your mind are fresh.
- Block out time on your calendar to time-lock so you can focus (without interruption) on priority tasks that require concentration.
- Batch tasks that can be done at the same time, such as reading email, listening to voicemail, making outbound calls, or completing reports.
Please try these techniques when creating your weekly action plan, as they offer me a sense of accomplishment and psychological freedom each week.
Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.