“In the long run, men hit only what they aim at.” – Henry David Thoreau
Well, it’s been 3 months since you set your goals or made new years’ resolutions. How are you doing? Hopefully, you’re well on your way to success.
You’ve focused on making the change, creating new actions, and working towards building those actions into habits to make them a reality.
But, how do you stay on track? This is one of the biggest challenges for many organizations. Although many people are focused, unfortunately they also compete with many priorities, and before they know it, the work has expanded to fill the time. Sometimes it’s because things came up that needed immediate attention, and sometimes it’s because the goal focused behaviors were harder, or often uncomfortable.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “plan your work and work your plan.” One of the most valuable methods of ensuring you achieve your goals is to plan daily for the activities that will make them happen. Many people have “to do” lists – a running list of tasks that they carry around until they are done. What I’d like to talk to you about today is the difference between a daily plan and a to-do list.
A to-do list is a great tool to keep all the tasks you must get completed – i.e. returning voicemails, correspondence, calling clients, reviewing reports/financials, etc. What are often not represented on the to-do list; however, are the things you should do, but don’t necessarily have to do. These are the tasks that will keep you on track towards meeting your goals – prospecting, reward and recognition for staff, coaching or giving feedback to my staff, calling clients to ask for referrals, etc.
The daily plan doesn’t have to be a complicated exercise, and it should not take more than 5 minutes a day. It could be listed on a post-it note, or in your normal planning system. Ultimately, it is the act of saying to yourself “what should I do tomorrow,” and planning those 1, 2 or 3 activities that will make progress on your ultimate goals.
What is the difference between what might be on a to-do list, and what might be on a plan? Things that you find on a to-do list are tasks such as returning phone calls, reviewing reports, or attending meetings. When you look at your plan, you’ll find tasks like calling three new prospects, compliment one employee for a job well done, or call one client and thank them for their business.
What is your plan for today? What should it be? What will it be for tomorrow? Our challenge for you is to start using a daily plan every day! Make it a goal to spend five minutes to plan for your day before it begins. In fact, the best time to plan for tomorrow is before you leave today. Write down the 1, 2 or 3 activities that will have a direct impact on ultimately achieving your goals. If you do this every day, for the next two weeks, we guarantee you will keep yourself on the path to success and create results.
For more career, sales, and leadership advice please contact our coaches
Joe Micallef – Sales Coach – email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (773) 329 0066
Donna Flynn – Career/Management Coach – email email@example.com, or call (630) 624-4319