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Planning to succeed

Published on Saturday, 07 Feb 2015
Mathew Gollop

A new year brings new resolutions, and for most people this involves some form of being more organised in order to achieve personal and professional goals.

The phrase "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail" may be a bit extreme, but it holds a truth, which is that planning is the key to greater success because it enables us to deliver more in the time that we have.

It is no coincidence that every article on success factors talks about planning and time management as core principles. Time is the one resource everyone needs more of.

Whether you are planning the execution of your work or planning your own career, the key principles remain.

After starting with the overriding objectives, the first big step is to plan to plan. Ensure that there is time allocated at the end of each day to plan for the following day.

This should then feed into monthly, quarterly and annual reviews of progress towards the objective and making adjustments when needed.

The second step is to defend your time against tasks that are not aligned with your objectives. This is the hardest part of taking control of your time because other people will demand access to you.

The key is to clearly explain and manage expectations of what you are prepared to give and then stick to it. This is easier when you have a defined plan to work to.

Finally, do not be overly concerned with short-term goals or success. Effective planning is an ongoing process; if you implement the right habits, the results will come. Consistency is more important than immediate rewards.

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