Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. —African Proverb
Jamaicans are famous for many things including Reggae music and athletics. However, how many of you know about our tendency to wait until the last minute to get things done? This is one habit I hate with a passion but I am learning to be flexible with persons who operate like that. Nevertheless, this is not a good habit and it should not be confused with spontaneity. The habit of Advanced Planning/Preparation is a key to win at life. I have found it to be extremely beneficial and so have many successful persons who have made this key their habit. Today I’ll share three benefits of doing same and a strategy for doing it on a daily basis to fuel your success.
Win with Advanced Planning
This key is based on the 6Ps: prior proper preparation prevents poor performance. The Roman philosopher Seneca said: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” Preparation is making decisions to position yourself for tomorrow’s opportunities. It is anticipating what is ahead and getting ready for it, be it good or bad. I have discovered that advanced preparation based on accurate information and clarity helps you to win. Advanced preparation does not prevent eventualities, but it forces you to anticipate what is ahead and to get ready as best as you can for the possibilities. Advanced preparation is a good time-management, business and life growth practice that should be employed in every area of your life, if you intend to win. This is one key that requires constant use.
Advanced Planning Methods
These methods are a combination of strategies I learnt from motivational speaker Earle Nightingale, success expert Brian Tracy and peak performance coach, Gary Ryan Blair. Tracy explains that every minute spent in preparation saves you 10 minutes in execution. So here is a combination of their methods to be used monthly and daily.
- The 100-Day Plan: List your major goals for the first 100 days of the New Year and the steps required to fulfil them. 100 days is roughly three and half months. Then break down the goals and activities into monthly, weekly and daily targets.
- The Daily Plan: At the end of each day, list your 5-6 must do activities for the next day in their proper order according to your priorities on a sheet of paper, or using an app on your phone. You may also do this first thing in the morning. After which you discipline yourself to do these activities in order of their listing. I must admit, that I don’t always do them in order but I make sure the top ones are done at the end of the day.
3 Benefits of Advanced Planning
I have found the following benefits of advanced planning:
- Improved Efficiency: By using these methods I get my tasks done quicker and I achieve at least 80% of my daily goals and sometimes I get through the activities so fast, that I have more time on my hands than I need. Confession – I tend to waste time after that, so I may need to set more than 5-6 targets. However, sometimes one task takes up the entire day and that’s okay especially if it is the number one task on the list. The rest of activities are carried over to the following day.
- Better Sleep and Instant De-stress: By doing this I find I sleep better at nights. It also works when I feel overwhelmed and feel I have too much to do. Once I put pen to paper and identify the chief priorities, I am instantly de-stressed. I no longer feel overwhelmed.
- More Control: Planning in advance daily gives me a sense of being in charge of my day so that, as author, Jim Rohn says, “you run the day instead of the day running you.” I never wake up anymore wondering what to do and if I forget, I just grab my notepad or paper. I therefore have more “control” over my days.
Advanced Planning Boosters
Here are three resources by the three success experts I mentioned earlier to fuel your success as it relates to the habit of Advanced Planning.
Tips to Structure Your Day by Brian Tracy – A YouTube Video
The 100 Day Challenge – 9 Point Plan – Finishing the Year Strong by Gary Ryan Blair – A YouTube Video
The $25,000 Idea by Earl Nightingale – An Article
Success Habits Challenge
I want to encourage you to join our 2017 Success Habits Challenge to practice five habits of which one of them is Advanced Planning on a daily basis. Read here for more details and sign up for the challenge here. It’s not too late.
Share Your Thoughts, Share the Blog
What are some of the methods and benefits of Advanced Planning that you have discovered or developed? Do share them with us. If you have been doing the Success Habits Challenge for 2017, how has it been going? What results have you been seeing thus far? Has your progress been accelerated? Has this information been helpful? Feel free to share this article with your friends on social media (instagram, facebook, twitter etc) and comment on the blog. Share it using the social media buttons at the top and bottom of this article and let’s equip more people to win at life! Let’s score big in 2017!