Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursday's Time Tip: Take Time to Plan

I’ve tried to keep my life organized. Sometimes I am more successful than other times. I’ve also read several books on time management, and tried to internalize what I’ve read. I’ve ran across two views on how to approach time management. I’ve tried both, and both work. So it becomes a point of personal preference. The two approaches are daily planning, and weekly planning. One approach focus on your values and goals the other approaches the roles you play in life and how to strengthen those roles.

What both approaches have in common is taking time to plan. Steven Covey’s book on Seven Habits of Highly Successful People talks about renewal. The story he tells also applies to taking time to plan.

I’ll paraphrase the story here. The person telling the story tells about seeing a lumberjack cutting and cutting on a tree. It took a long time to cut down the tree. Then he was getting set to cut then next tree.

“What is taking so long to cut down the trees?” he asks the lumberjack.

“My saw needs to be sharpened,” he replies.

“Why don’t you sharpen the saw?”

“I don’t have time; I need to cut down more trees.”

It is obvious that taking time out to sharpen the saw will save energy and be more productive. We need to take time to sharpen our saws. Renewal as Covey explains, or as I like to think of it, a few minutes at the start of the day to plan what needs to happen, or at the end of the day to map out what you want to accomplish tomorrow is very important.

The other approach is taking time to plan out a week. Pick a day and a time to plan. During your planning session look at your different roles, mother/father, boss/employee, friend. Look at your relationships and what needs to be done. List what needs to happen for the week and plan days, and times those things will happen.

Both approaches take some self discipline, commitment from yourself to yourself. However, the investment makes for achievement. Completing those things you want to accomplish. Delivering on your promises to others. Making deadlines. Those are the some of the keys to feeling fulfilled.

Take the time to plan. Next week I’ll look at the daily approach to planning.


Precy Larkins said...

Excellent post, Dean!

I have to admit I am a POOR PLANNER. I don't plan dinner meals before heading to the grocery story. I get there and I start thinking what should I get for the week's dinners. I could have save a lot of time if I planned beforehand.

Same goes for writing. I really need to be more organized (it's not my strongest suit), so thanks for the tip!

Dean C. Rich said...

Glad it helps. Check out the latest post on daily planning