How to Make The Very Best Of Your Chances And Your Time

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Knowing where you are going
One of the hardest parts of success is realizing where you want to go.
I have written about setting goals many times, among others, here, here and here .
Where you are going and how you plan on getting there
How do you plan on getting there?
But what many forget is what to do once you have set your goals.
It is equally as hard and takes more time, planning how you are going to accomplish your goals.

Like it has been said many times;
“Failing to plan, means planning to fail”.

If you are to succeed you have to sit down, see where you are now and where you want to go and then start making plans.

The act of setting goals makes a big difference and starts attracting opportunities into your life, but if you don’t know what you are going to do you will miss a lot of chances.

Your plans aren’t written in stone
On the other hand you must be flexible. If an unexpected opportunity comes your way you have to be able to update your plans to take advantage of this opportunity.

But having a detailed plan gives you the chance to see how this new opportunity ways in to the rest of your efforts into a “master plan”.
If you don’t have a “master plan” all the activities will be counteracting each other, fighting for your time and energy instead of working in harmony and letting you leverage all the resources at the common goal.

Your Master Plan
Once you have set your goal, take the time to start thinking about what you need, how you are going to get it and what steps you need to take to make your dream a reality.

Like has been said time and time again “Every minute spent on planning saves X minutes in execution”. Substitute the X for anything from 2-10. I have heard all of them being used.

I usually say 10 minutes is saved per minute spent on planning.
That is how important it is.

Just look in the small scale when you plan your day (read more in the article Planning Your Day).
You organize your activities, focus your work and do a lot better when you have planned.

These days I spend about 2 hours doing what used to take 10 (I know that is just 5 times the time, but bear with me).

Investing Time On Planning Is The Key To Winning Time On Execution
If you take this to a larger scale and look at the planned start of a company.
By spending time forming your plans, goals, mission statements, your requirements and so on, you will save lots of time on the execution of the plan.

Because if you don’t have a plan you don’t know what to do, you won’t know how many people you need to hire, what is the most important activity for you to do, what should be delegated, what you can hire a consultant to do, how to market your services, if you need sales staff or a marketing division and so on.

The more you have planned the better everything will go.

Just look at one of the best generals of all time.

Napoleon
As a young man Napoleon decided to learn everything he could about logistics and about how to move an army fast.
Whenever he started a new campaign he planned out every detail, down to the number of rounds of ammunition he needed. This way he could move his armies fast, react to unexpected situations and see when things weren’t going according to plan.

How do you know if it isn’t going according to plan if you don’t have one?
This was the question that really opened my eyes to the importance to planning.
If you don’t know exactly what needs to happen, at what moment and in which order, how do you know if you are on track or not?

The answer is, you don’t.

You don’t need a complete plan, but you do need a partial one.
Making a complete step by step plan might feel a bit daunting.
That is the reason it has taken me so long to start planning. You don’t know what EXACTLY is going to happen and therefore it is hard to make those detailed plans.

But if you plan a bit, make a skeleton with a few key points that are important, list things that you know need to be done and done right to succeed, you will probably start to find more things that need to be done in order to do them and so on.

By having a partial plan you will at least have a much better idea than if you don’t have one at all.

Action Exercise
1. Set your goals in clear words (read Setting Goals for more information).
2. Spend an hour making plans to make those goals a reality.
3. Take action on the first thing that needs to be done and start doing something every day to bring you nearer to your goals.

Photo Credit: Kopfjäger

                                                                                                                          

Related posts:

  1. Podcast: Your Path to Your Dreams Episode 3 – Planning for Your Success
  2. Motivational Tip #2 – Planning for Your Goals
  3. How to Make Plans for Your Success
  4. How to Find Your Path to Success
  5. 7 Things you Should do if you want to succeed
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111 Responses to How to Make The Very Best Of Your Chances And Your Time

  1. Justin Case says:

    Hi Daniel,
    Good info. Planning is essential to the success of any venture. However, plans are made for people, not people made for plans. Simply means plans and should be changed when needful.

    Good to meet you. Miles to go before I rest tonight. Still have a few blogs to visit.

    Justin

  2. I agree with you man. Planning is to life what a map is to a scout. Without it we are lost and destined to wander the vast emptiness of materialistic vagaries thrust upon us by marketing giants. Now I am lost after chewing on all that in one sentence :shock:

    Keep on planning to succeed and you will :-)

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks for stopping by, great having you here.
      The plan is (or at least should be) the center of every endeavour.

      Keep up the good work and stop by again soon :)
      //Daniel

  3. Tom Harvey says:

    Daniel

    Great post (as well as the previous ones on the same topic) highlighting the importance of focused (planned) activity. With a plan its much easier to achieve as you know what needs to be done, what you want to do and what remains to be done. Without it how can you guage where you are!?
    I’m guilty of not reviewing and updating my plans regularly enough but its something that I’m working on at the moment so this has been a timely reminder.
    Cheers

    Tom

  4. Hi Daniel
    There is such vital information in this post. Without a detailed plan to guide us we will just go around in circles. Thank you. You can be sure that I will pay more attention to my planning now.
    I hope you enjoyed the challenge.
    All the best
    Eamon

  5. Loseney Jabateh says:

    Well am from Liberia honestly I do appreciate your lesson here on planing I wish this would never end, so all i have to do is to keep going after topic to topic. now I have understand the reasons why things were Turing back every time I made a progress because there was no plan so I was just moving like a cut headed chicken. but I think you have given me the opportunity to stop and plan very very well. man am grateful.

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hello Loseney,

      You make me very glad to hear that I have been able to help.
      I hope you start working with a plan bringing sync to your work and moving you quickly towards your goals :)

      //Daniel

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