4 simple steps for effective planning


By Fatoumatta Kurang

Strategic PlanningAs a self-employed individual, how do you manage huge workloads? The answer is plan, plan, plan! The biggest and most obvious planning mistake people make is leaving things to the last minute. If this sounds like you, you are no doubt struggling to complete tasks and hit deadlines, which in turn slows the growth of your business. If you continue to operate in this way, chances are your stress levels will continue to increase to unhealthy levels, so protect your health and gain greater success in your business by planning and prioritising your day-to-day activities.

Proper planning gives you a better understanding of the task ahead and will clearly illustrate the bigger picture for you; increasing your productivity and if you are further along the start-up path, that of your staff too. It also encourages innovation as your new found clarity will enable you to identify more effective procedures and the means for developing performance, resulting in improved operations to aid growth and success in your business.

So the question is, how do you plan well in order to manage your workload alongside everything else? Use the following steps to help you to plan effectively and reach your short and long term goals.

1.    Firstly, know where you are going. This may sound simple enough, but many people are not  fully aware of the purpose of their business. Once you have a full understanding of what you are offering in the form of products / services, you will know which direction to go in with regards to your future plans and goals.

2.    Write down your list of goals, review the list and schedule in your actions and deadlines for high-priority and crucial activities, as well as essential tasks that cannot be avoided. Also, evaluate the time you need to achieve them and schedule them in.

3.    After creating your action items and setting a specific timeline, create a visual representation of your plan. You could use a Gantt chart, flowchart, a spreadsheet, or anything else that works visually for you.

4.    Finally, the most important bit – work your plan until it’s complete! Consistently take day-to-day action, follow up and follow through with your own tasks and that of anyone else you are working with, and revisit your plan regularly to make sure you’re on track or to make adjustments where necessary.

Posted in: Business, Recent Posts

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