Monica is a free-spirited individual who likes to operate “by the seat of her pants”. But sometimes her lack of planning results in unanticipated setbacks that put her into “overdrive”. Unfortunately, Monica’s mode of operation creates a lot more stress in her life as well.
Successful companies create plans, and so do successful individuals – whether they’re planning an event, writing a book, or managing a family. Planning gives you a roadmap for achieving your goals. Therefore, you’re more likely to achieve your goals and achieve them more quickly.
Some people reject the idea of planning because they think it takes too much time. However, in reality it’s quite the opposite. When one fails to plan, they can experience unanticipated delays, may not complete the task or project right, and then have to do it over again. Therefore, by not planning, a project can take much longer. When I write a book, I spend more time researching and writing the proposal and outline, than I do writing the chapters of the book. By planning my book project, the actual production phase goes faster.
Plan for the short-term as well as the long-term. Planning on a daily and weekly basis will help ensure that you focus on your most important priorities. Planning for the long-term, say a monthly or annual basis, will help you achieve your long-term goals. Set deadlines and measures for all you plan. By selecting a measure, then you’ll know whether or not you’ve been successful.
Then review your short-term and long-term objectives periodically. Break the big projects into smaller, doable steps. Schedule the tasks in a realistic way – within the available time in any given day, week or month. Anticipate any obstacles you may encounter, and come up with a back-up plan.
By following these tips for planning, you’ll avoid crises and last-minute time crunches … and the added stress that goes with it!
Do you feel overwhelmed with your workload? In this day and age of doing more with less, we have too much to do in too little time. How can we slow down our frenetic pace and achieve our job goals without sacrificing our own well-being? Here are 10 tips to help you better manage your time and increase your productivity at work without stressing you out!
- Have a clear understanding of your job responsibilities and expectations.
- Know the priorities, i.e., which projects and tasks are most important. If not, then have a discussion with your boss.
- Take five minutes at the beginning of your work day to plan your day.
- Make a realistic list of tasks to complete each day.
- Prioritize your task list based upon importance and urgency. Work on the most important things first.
- Allow some flexibility in your schedule for the unexpected. Things will come up!
- When asked to take on an additional project and your “plate is full”, negotiate deadlines with your boss. Ask him or her to help you determine where this project is on the priority list.
- Set a deadline for yourself as to when you will leave the office each day. You’ll find that you’re more productive, since you have limited time and are working toward a deadline.
- Spend the last five minutes of each work day to review the day. Check off completed tasks and forward uncompleted tasks to the next day. By doing so, you’ll go home with a sense of completion and be able to leave work at work and not think about it.
- Don’t take work home on the weekends. You need that time to spend on other activities (household, family, friends, and relaxation). You’ll feel more refreshed when you return to work on Monday.