Welcome back. For those of you who used to struggle with procrastination, I hope the information I shared last time helped you, because it sure helped me. I feel better about my day and how much time I have now.

In our “meeting,” there was a guy in the back of the room asking himself what the difference was between planning and scheduling. Let’s dig deeper into this.

Everyone admits that planning is important, but few of us actually spend the time doing it. I’ve heard someone tell me, “I am too busy to plan…” Like procrastination, planning is a habit.

I tend to be action-oriented, so I want to be doing something, not planning something. I have to ask myself these six questions for successful planning to occur in my life:

  1. Results—What are my goals, and what do I expect to accomplish?
  2. Activities—What will I have to do to get those results?
  3. Priorities—What are the priorities involved?
  4. Time—How much time will each activity take?
  5. Schedules—When will I do each activity?
  6. Flexibility—How much flexibility must I allow for the unexpected things I can’t control?

Planning is an attempt to control as much time as possible. The less you plan, the less effective you’ll be. If you’re wondering how to put this into action, consider this: The daily “to do” list is the most common planning tool used today. For me, I love to write lists of things to do. I am so weird that I actually write things on the list that I already did just to cross them off. Don’t laugh; you probably have done this, too.

If you can do weekly planning, that’s even better. To prepare a weekly plan, ask the six questions for next week. If possible, do this at the end of the preceding week. If done effectively, this should only take about 30 minutes, but you will recover at least an hour each day.

Planning is what to do and scheduling is when to do it. So make sure that you put your “to do” list into your calendar. Do yourself a favor and try planning your next week, or even your next day. Don’t talk yourself out of this, because it will really help you. If you want to have the five-step action plan, please email me at dave@positivepolarity.com and I will send it to you — as long as you plan some time in your day to read and implement it!


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