Achievers Are Planners
Why Have a Plan?
Having researched many successful people’s habits and routines, it’s obvious that successful people are busy—very busy! They are also nearly always planners. To achieve great things you need to be able to prioritise the most important tasks and start ploughing through them. Lack of planning won’t help you prioritise and you may get bogged down with the routine, non-important daily actions. These things can often be delegated to others or may not be worth doing at all.
So the most important reason to plan and schedule regularly is to keep you ‘on point,’ and help you to work on your most important goals, the ones that will most impact your life positively! Without proper planning and scheduling, you may get distracted and waste time on trivial stuff.
It’s crucial to have a plan detailing steps for getting where you want to be. In the same way that you need to know exactly what you want, you also need a written blueprint of how you are going to reach your goals, if you’re going to achieve them.
“You need a plan to build a house. To build a life, it is even more important to have a plan or goal.”
Planning Allows You to Work Smarter, Not Harder
Having a plan will help you to prioritise your time so that you can do the important actions first. It helps you to not try to do it all at once! It helps you to avoid indecision too because when you have a clear list of actions in front of you, you simply need to follow the plan. The decisions have already been made as to the steps you need to take. This removes the constant need to question what or how to do something. It allows you to just take action and start making progress.
“You can do anything but not everything.” —David Allen
Planning Helps You Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed
Some of your goals may feel so big that they are quite daunting. Planning helps you to break them down into smaller steps and tasks that you can work your way through one at a time. Having a plan that details all of the steps together with a reasonable time frame for completing them will help you to take these actions calmly and rationally. As you start to make progress, you will build confidence and avoid the feeling of being swamped by the enormity of the goal.
Planning Helps You Beat Procrastination
Procrastination is the habit of putting off what should be done today until tomorrow, or the next day, or week, or month... and so on. This affects us all from time to time.
The main cause of procrastination is the feeling that something is just too big and scary to even begin! Taking the time initially to create a written plan with all of the tasks broken down eliminates this fear. This is because the goal becomes more achievable in your mind. You can see that if you stick to the plan, task by task, you will move through to your end goal. It may take a day or a week (or for larger goals, much longer), but the point is that psychologically you realise that you can do it, that it is possible to achieve!
Planning Gives You More Control of Your Life
By taking the time and making an effort to plan your time, you take control of it! You schedule the things that are important to you into your life. This allows you to ultimately achieve what you want and have more free time to do what you enjoy.
Having a Plan Gives You Confidence
Your personal success plan will force you to get organised and this creates a sense of being in control. You know you’re on the path to getting what you want in life and this will instil great confidence, which in turn fuels you to complete each step (some of the actions you need to take may be in new territory for you and totally out of your comfort zone).
Each step you take is moving you towards your goal. You can tick off each action you take as you complete it, knowing that you are powering towards your dreams! Your confidence will start to grow and soar as you make your progress, and this will help you keep the momentum going even when you’re tired or when things seem tough.
Planning Is about Having the Right Balance of Structure, Spontaneity and Flexibility
The plan that you create doesn’t have to be ‘set in stone,’ it can be tweaked and changed as you start taking action. Imagine it as a map to a destination you’re driving to. You plan to use a certain route but as you start driving, you may encounter roadblocks, diversions, or traffic jams, or even discover new roads that you didn’t know existed. Because of these developments, you may decide to take a different road or turn. You’re still on your way to your desired destination but you alter your route slightly.
The same goes for your life. When you start using the power of focus and reaffirming your goals every day, unexpected opportunities will almost certainly crop up for you. New and unforeseen ideas, people, and situations will be attracted to you to help you on your way.
You must be flexible and alter your original plan from time to time to overcome any obstacles and to take advantage of unexpected positives. The destination or goal may change occasionally, but only if something better comes along.
In the book Unlimited; 7 Habits to Unleash Your Full Potential & Get the Life You Want, Habit 5- Achievers Are Planners, we focus on planning, scheduling and managing your time. These tools will help you to prioritise effectively, so that you can concentrate on the important stuff; the things that matter to you.