How to plan your work
The planning process we believe in
written by Valentina Sokolova
Maybe you're familiar with Stephen R. Covey's philosophy about planning. It lays on the principle of moving from the big picture to the details:
- You determine what your big goal is
- Then you break it down into smaller goals
- Plan for the goals & micromanage them
We get quite a rush from setting out to accomplish a dream or idea. But the thing is, as Stephen R. Covey says,
If we don't translate our vision into action we lose touch with reality
So what do we do? We make a plan. You have a big goal, idea, dream - you work from the top down to make it happen.
How to make a good plan?
- First you determine what your main, final aim is
- Each week you ask yourself 'What is it that I can do this week that will make the biggest difference for this goal?'. You write your smaller weekly goals down
- Then you plan for them in the week - you block out time so that they don't get pushed aside by unimportant but urgent matters
- Finally, each day, you prioritize and break down your tasks even further (for example into clear to-do's) so they can be taken in chunks with single focus on one thing
This is a very natural approach to getting things done (GTD). You avoid those 'I know I need to do this, but I don't know where to start' moments, by getting into the details. But you also avoid losing the big picture, because you know you've planned every small step to be part of bringing that big goal to success.
This way of planning gives you a sense of progress, which is a great moving force. But more importantly - it gives you peace of mind because you know you're working on the things that are most important and meaningful to you.
How to create a good plan for a whole team?
We, at Swipes, believe very strongly in this principle of breaking down big things into small, manageable chunks. We've designed our teamwork product, the Workspace, to rest upon that principle. We plan from the big aim, to the smaller goals, to the even smaller, very actionable steps that need to be done in order to move forward. This method creates a momentum that things are happening all the time. Visualizing that into a tool - spreads the momentum across the whole team.
To wrap up, to make a good plan - figure out your big goal, your vision. Each week determine what small action you can take to move forward. And each day break these action down into smaller, clear steps you can easily complete.