Wednesday Words

To Go Where Your VisionPoints, a few inspiration points for you and your business.

It’s wonderful what we can do if we’re always doing.
—George Washington

I’m a planner. I believe in it for myself and for my clients. Planning gives shape to your intentions, breaks massive goals into smaller tasks, and makes it a lot more likely that you’ll achieve what you meant to.

Thing is, I rarely complete everything on my planned list. (For the day, for the week, even for a project. Something usually gets left out.) Not too unusual, a lot of you may make a To Do list for the day and find that a third of the items on it don’t get finished. Does that mean planning is a flawed process? I had a little debate about that subject yesterday.

I argued no. Planning allows you to look at the full scope of a day or a project in its ideal form. It allows you to write things down and then forget them; if you aren’t wasting mental energy on remembering what’s next, you can concentrate much more fully on what’s at hand. And it allows you to prioritize and even strategically skip items, when it becomes clear that you can fit the entire ideal into the time you have available. For me, rather than inducing guilt (“I didn’t finish it all”), it gives pride (“look what I got done”). Most folks I’ve converted to planning were worried about the guilt, but found the same, that deliberate planning gets rid of that awful floating feeling and gives pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Yeah, so?

So, I planned my day as usual yesterday morning. Then with every star aligned in my favor, I worked that plan. End to end. I dogged through the whole thing and got every single thing finished, in spite of a very rough start with a human who seemed to want to eat my self-esteem for breakfast (sorry, you picked the wrong lady). I honestly don’t know when the last time I finished an entire list was. (This post is last on my list!)

You know what? It’s pretty awesome. S’Marvelous. I’ll go back to never quite finishing things tomorrow, but for now, if you’re like me and you rarely see the end, make that list for yourself, or for you and your staff, and promise to apply yourself with all your might once in a while—maybe even once a week—and bust it all out. It’s wonderful what we can do. Your business will thank you.

If you’re like George Washington, and you already finish everything on your list every day and bust out all sorts of accomplishments with no problem, feel free to leave me a tip. Otherwise… What’s your planning strategy, and how has it helped you over the years? Or—are you a floater, letting life and work happen to you? How is that working for you?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson