The reason diaries, planners, and the like are ubiquitous products is that people need them. The human brain has an astonishing ability to store information, but not the minutiae of each day’s tasks. Moreover, any long-term goal is only achieved by working towards it regularly.
For the majority of people, this means planning effectively. For people who have particular problems in this area though – for example, ADHD sufferers – planning and organization is the only way of coping. Next Level Daily, for example, are a company that produces planners and habit trackers for ADHD sufferers. These are individuals who often have a problem with concentration and maintaining focus.
As mentioned though, planning is essential for anybody bar the most indolent of slackers. If you want to do any task that cannot be completed there and then, that takes planning and, more often than not, planning tools.
However, people don’t always plan well. Even if you are availed of the most effective planning tools, planning is still a discipline that needs to be learned – it is a poor tradesman that blames his tools!
What Does Effective Planning Require?
The most important thing for effective planning is consistency. Of course, the ways you can realize this consistency can vary. Furthermore, realizing that everyone is different is the second most important thing.
So, it’s all about planning and finding what works for you. This can take some initial trial and error. Beyond this, there are a few more fundamentals. One of these is being sure that your goals are realistic. You can be the most assiduous planner in the world and still give yourself more than can be realistically completed in a day, a week, or a month. Another fundamental is to ensure you have long-term goals that are worked towards on a regular basis. This makes sure that your planning is actually leading somewhere.
Beyond that, there isn’t really space here to set out “how to plan”. We can, though, offer some commonly made planning mistakes that you should take care to avoid.
Top Planning Mistakes
Learning what you shouldn’t do is the often the best way to discover what you should be doing. In that spirit then, here follows a few of the most common planning mistakes:
Failing to Schedule the Time to Plan
A good plan will give you tasks to be completed within a certain time frame, but you also need the time to actually create that plan. Furthermore, you cannot plan out every little daily task beyond, at most, a week in advance. his means that you need to set aside time for the planning itself.
Not Giving Yourself a Hard Deadline
Deadlines are valuable across the board and for everyone. In fact, without a hard deadline, it is always unlikely that anything will get done. Even if you have a long-term task on your hands, you should still give yourself a deadline – and that deadline should be a specific day. “Around March” is no use.
Making Your Own Excuses
An excuse for not getting something done by a specific point is usually made at the point when you are running out of time for a task. These excuses are, to put it mildly, usually nonsense. But there’s a great desire to believe them, simply because it relieves you of responsibility. If you have planned properly, you can get the task done; and if you don’t, then there’s no excuse. At the same time, however, don’t beat yourself up – improve.
Most things are unrealizable without planning. Clueing yourself up on the common mistakes is a great way – the only way – to stop making them.