Plan Ahead and Increase Productivity
You have heard the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is “One bite at a time!”
Your mind, your ability to think, plan, and decide, is your most powerful tool for overcoming procrastination and increasing your productivity. Your ability to set goals, make plans, and take action on them determines the course of your life. The very act of thinking and planning unlocks your mental powers, triggers your creativity, and increases your mental and physical energies.
FREE REPORT: Goals! — by Brian Tracy
Increase Your Return on Energy
One of your top goals at work should be for you to get the highest return on your investment of mental, emotional, and physical energy. The good news is that every minute spent in planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution. It takes only about 10 to 12 minutes for you to plan out your day, but this small investment of time will save you up to two hours (100 to 120 minutes) in wasted time and diffused effort through the day.
You may have heard of the Six-P Formula. It says, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”
When you consider how helpful planning can be in increasing your productivity and performance, it is amazing how few people practice it every single day. And planning is really quite simple to do. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. The most sophisticated iPhone, computer program, or time planner is based on the same principle. It is based on your sitting down and making a list of everything you have to do before you begin.
Two Extra Hours per Day
Always work from a list. When something new comes up, add it to the list before you do it. You can increase your productivity and output by 25 percent or more (about two hours a day) from the first day that you begin working consistently from a list.
Make your list the night before for the workday ahead. Move everything that you have to do the next day. When you make your life the night before, your subconscious mind will work on your list all night long while you sleep. Often you will wake up with great ideas and insights that you can use to get your job done faster and better than you had initially thought.
The more time you take to make a list of everything you have to do , in advance, the more effective and efficient you will be.
Different Lists for Different Purposes
You need different lists for different purposes. First, you should create a master list on which you write down everything you can think of that you want to do sometime in the future. This is the place where you capture every idea and every new task or responsibility that comes up. You can sort out the items later.
Second, you should have a monthly list that you can make at the end of the month for the month ahead. This may contain items transferred from your master list.
Third, you should have a weekly list where you plan your entire week in advance. This is the list that is under construction as you go through the current week.
This discipline of systematic time planning can be very helpful to you. Many people have told me that the habit of taking a couple of hours at the end of each week to plant the coming week has increased their productivity dramatically and changed their lives completely. This technique will work for you as well.
Planning a Project
When you have a project of any kind, begin by making a list of every step that you will have to complete to finish the project from beginning to end. Organize the steps by priority and sequence. Lay out the project in front of you on paper or on a computer so that you can see every step and task. Then go to work on one task at a time. You will be amazed at how much you get done in this way.
As you work through your lists, you will feel more and more effective and powerful. You will feel more in control of your life. You will be naturally motivated to do even more. You will think better and more creatively, and you will get more and better insights that enable you to do your work even faster.
As you work steadily through your lists, you will develop a sense of positive forward momentum that enables you to overcome procrastination. This feeling of progress gives you more energy and keeps you going throughout the day.
When you plan each day in advance, you will find it much easier to get going and to keep going. The work will go faster and smoother than ever before. You will feel more powerful and competent. You will get more done faster than you thought possible. Eventually, you will become unstoppable.
About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.