Yes indeed, the daily use of the Think, Plan, Act procedure will help you get more of the right things done on time and on budget in your business. You definitely want that. And you are already doing a lot of this, just without the formalness described herein.
It’s the wise person who defines his terminology. So here goes.
By THINK I mean Clear Thinking. Not fuzzy, not haphazard, but serious deliberate thinking that goes somewhere helpful to you.
By PLAN I mean Cleaver Planning. Planning that’s thoughtful, the results of which might well resolve into a short To Do List for you to follow, but that also might resolve into a multipage formal document intended to drive your deliberate action for a long time.
And by ACT, I mean Best Action, action that is properly carried out on time and that produces results described in your planning activity.
The Think, Plan, Act is not necessarily and always linear. Sometimes your action leads to more immediate action. Sometimes your planning requires more thinking. Sometimes your thinking goes nowhere, or you decide that there’s nothing to plan and no action required. Sometimes this cycle crisscrosses and goes around and around awhile before generating anything concrete.
ACT IS THE TRICKY PART
Even the best made plans sometimes are never actually implemented. There are lots of reasons for this. Not the least of which is procrastination. Not there’s a success killer if ever there were one.
How do you overcome procrastination? Simple. Write down what you must do on a small piece of paper. Get a safety pin and attach your thing to do, your intended action, to the front of your shirt. Then keep it there as you go through the routines of your day. This will serve as a reminder, especially if others in your workplace take notice and ask you about it. I’ve done this and it works every time.
As you well know, action is often derailed by distractions. Indeed, life is one great big hailstorm of distractions. Things come up. You get interrupted. Your whole day of planned for activities gets wiped out. This is a normal occurrence, albeit hopefully not an often occurrence.
No matter what the interruption or reason for inaction might be, as soon as possible, just get right back on the horse and start anew. There’s no other reasonable response.
ACCOUNTABILITY MAKES IT WORK
Ah yes, accountability. To whom you might think? Well to yourself for starters. You have a life you want to live successfully. You want to make a mark in life. Leave a positive legacy. Therefore, taking action to secure planned for things is necessary. You may also feel accountable to others, like a spouse and children, like business partners and employees and customers and such.
Self-discipline is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. That’s accountability big time.
HOW TO START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT
All your days will be made better by use of this simple question and answer daily routine. Start your day in quiet reflection and with a couple of simple question.
HERE’S THE QUESTION
If I am to be perfect today, what exactly must I do? Now answer the question. GO DO IT.
By asking and answering this question you are deep into the Think, Plan, Act process.
And here’s another question to ask and answer that will generate better days. Use this one at the end of each day. “If this was the second time I was living this day, what would I do differently?” In other words, pretend you’ve already made the mistakes you’re about to make and don’t make them.
Start your day with reflection. Get your priorities right. Save your most important work for the morning when your brain is at full capacity. Manage your energy not your time. Know what drains you and what recharges you. Try to minimize the things that suck energy from you. Try to schedule into your life more of the things that give you energy.
90 DAY CHALLENGE
Try these two questioning and answering routines for 90 days and watch your life be transformed before your very eyes. A new best habit for sure.