The Cost of Not Planning
Imagine this. You’ve had a long day of work. Stressful colleagues, traffic jams, unhappy clients, and you didn’t begin to tackle your never-ending email.
You stop at the grocery store on the way home, because you’ve been out of milk AND coffee and a few other necessities. Your family is about to revolt. You don’t have a list, so you buy what you THINK you need to get through the next 24 hours. Once home, you realize you have everything EXCEPT 2 important ingredients for tonight’s dinner. In a fit of total frustration you call your favorite pizza joint for delivery. Is this your reality? Did you plan your day in advance?
You’re not alone, but let’s think for a minute about what just happened. Rewind.
What if you would have taken FIVE minutes, to write out your grocery list (and even check in with the family to see what they need). You have it in your phone (or, *gasp* on paper). You head to the store and quickly find everything on your list. Once home, you proceed to put together dinner for your family. No drama, no beating your self up, no forgotten items.
What if you applied this same thinking to planning your week. What would your ROI be for 30 minutes of planning time on a Sunday? Could you have a clear vision of your priorities and tasks for the week if you planned each day? How much time could that save you on a daily basis? What might you say no to, in order to stay focused?
So many people spend hours a day, just trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing, because they DON’T HAVE A PLAN. Having clear goals can help you stay focused, and minimize the desire for your brain to wander.
The best way I know to do this, is by doing a Weekly Brain Dump. Once done, prioritize the list. Next, schedule your tasks and projects on the day you plan to do them. (Please don’t keep one huge master list of EVERYTHING you need to do. Your brain just can’t handle it, and you end up getting almost nothing done. (I can see you nodding your head in agreement right now.)