Fool Proof Plan To Making A Plan || [In Only 7 Steps]
Making a plan may seem like an extra headache over an already enormous task but a good plan can save a lot of time and resources. Really speaking it is always worth spending a little time to make a plan.
Why follow a plan?
Making plan is the first step to learn to manage your time. At the current global scenario, there is a considerable amount of focus and R&D money being put into making good plans for corporates. There is a good reason behind it.
Plans help you have a roadmap and act as a beacon of light in the thick fog of uncertainty. Most of the people who make a plan never end up following. Yet I would still suggest you consider making it. Why do you ask? As most of the times, it is better to have the rough idea of the path in your mind than being absolutely clueless.
Actually following a good plan which fulfils your aspirations will bring you leaps closer to your goals.
How to make a plan?
Making a plan isn’t tough one that suits you definitely is.
Planning is a skill in which you will get better at with time and experience. You will be able to judge when to give more time and when not. To have that experience you need to get started and this is a perfect guide for just that.
A good plan with a clear idea while has the potential to provide a boost to your efforts but if you don’t optimize it correctly you may not get the efficiency you desired let me give you a step by step guide to making a plan that suits you.
A general guideline is to use SMART principle.
What is SMART Principle?
The principle defines how goals should be:
Specific Measurable Attainable Reasonable and Time-Based goals is the full form of the acronym.
I have a more a thorough and step by step way though.
#1 Have a clear goal.
If you don’t have a clear goal don’t start making a plan. Plans are meant to help you reach your goal if you don’t have any make one before starting out.
Goals and goal statements are absolutely necessary and it is a no go if you don’t have any because it just isn’t worth the time and effort. If you make a plan at this stage you will feel like a drifting log in the middle of an ocean.
Ponder on what you want to do in how much time you can put in and how fast you have to do.
#2 Set a deadline.
Now, that you have a clear goal with you, you should make allocate a deadline for your plan.
You should always have an idea of the time you have put in and how close you are to your goal. A deadline makes it easy to track your progress and also makes it possible to allocate and track to be invested for each and every task.
A time-bound plan is what you need to make the best out of your efforts. Make sure you also make a time limit for each task leaving some time free (I will discuss why in following points). I don’t ask you to micromanage each task but to give a loose boundary line.
#3 Make Room for unexpected
When you make a plan you have a certain idea in mind but things may not turn out the same way as in your head or unexpected events may pop up. It is best to account for such time. This also gives room to provide time for any mistakes that may have been made.
Managing time for unexpected can be odd but I suggest time 15-25% of your time for the buffer. Making the time you allocate sparsely, distributed evenly or in bulk is your choice and as per your liking.
#4 Don’t put in work, work, work!
This is a common mistake by many they don’t give time for breaks or rest. Time to be spent with family and friends or time to just relax at times must also be included. The plan must not only be work or only fun try striking a balance between both worlds.
To refresh your self is not a waste of time and effort as it lets your mind to relax and bounce back with added productivity.
#5 Break larger tasks into smaller doable tasks (Divide and Conquer)
It’s easier to carry a bunch of rocks in a few trips than a giant boulder in one.
You should always try to break your work into more manageable and doable tasks. Not only it is easier to track them it is also way more rewarding like this. Watching yourself rush through a bunch of tasks even if they are extremely simple can be rewarding.
But beware that if you make too many small tasks it may just overwhelm you or you may just get a bit too satisfied with your going (completing 5 min worth 10 tasks and then taking a day off feeling satisfied) and end up lazing around.
A good thumb rule is to have a task worth 45-50 min and take 5-15 min break to make your head clear.
#6 Track your progress and reward yourself.
It is essential to track your progress along the way as it gives your standing. Don’t be afraid of your progress no matter how bad your record has been it gives you a chance to improve on the fields you are lacking.
It can be a good unbiased insight.
You can use multiple tools or just use physical pen and paper (To strike off tasks from the calendar it’s immensely rewarding) or even both (really suggested). Web apps and Mobile apps have great solutions.
#7 Don’t punish yourself.
While it is true that it’s great to have a plan and stick to it. On the same note it is also true that most of the people are unable to keep up with their plans (How many new year’s resolutions did you keep with?). This is not something you must punish yourself with biggest of biggest corporates also fail to keep up with their plans.
What you must do instead is never lose hope even if you miss a deadline or a few weeks’ worths of work just make some adjustments and keep moving forward. Even if you fail totally in your work you will be in a better position than you were at the beginning and with a clearer picture with what you have to do.
I hope for success in your aspirations.