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It Always Begins with a Plan

Wow, we are two months into 2012 and as “they” always say: “Where did the time go?”  I must admit that I have had little time for the winter blues to find me due to the many things I’ve been doing. It’s been challenging and fun and we know that time flies when you are having fun!

In addition to celebrating many, many birthday (including mine), I’ve worked with several clients on resumes and career plans; served as a guest on a radio program; brainstormed with a creative team possibilities for a retreat (we are excited) and had the joy of delivering Singing Valentine’s. And, those are just my “fun activities!”  I’ve found that I’ve had to plan a little more carefully because time does seem to slip away. So, here are a few little tips that I find are working and, perhaps, just perhaps, they will help you do.

Looking at my overall calendar at the beginning of the month and setting goals seems to help me focus and get to the things that I really need to do outside of my day to day job and activities (To help keep me organized there, I running list of “to-do’s” in my Day Planner). I try to write the activity and put a day or date next to it, so that I can hold myself accountable for when it gets done. I find if I don’t do this, things slip. I can be a procrastinator if I don’t set personal goals.

Here’s an example of my activity list:

Must Do This Week

Must Do This Month

Mon Rehearsal  2/2 Pay Bills
Tues Management Team Meeting  2/4 Read current literature to become up-to-date
Wed Rehearsal  2/5 Review resumes and provide feedback
Thur Review goals  2/15 Deliver Singing Valentine’s
Fri Update, explore LinkedIn  2/17 Prepare Agenda for Mngmt Team Mtg
Sat Schedule meetings with clients 2/17 Update Blog on Website
Sun Play    

You’ll note that in addition to having some “must-do’s” on the schedule, I’ve also included time to renew and recharge. This, I find, is incredibly important and helps to keep the ideas fresh.

People often ask me how I keep up with everything and seem to be so organized. Well, quite possibly, that’s an illusion because I know that I have things that need to be filed and there are some tasks that don’t get done. In time management, those are called the “c” tasks or those that aren’t important and you may or may not get around to them.

What is important to me is to keep the commitments I have made, whether it is to my family, my friends, a board, an organization, a client or my employer. Not necessarily always in that order. At times, some things need to fall off the list in order to make the commitment and that’s when it helps to know what is a priority and what may be able to wait. So plan, stay focused and plan again. And, if that doesn’t work for you, take the approach of Hallmark’s Maxine: “I find that it helps to organize chores into categories.  Things I won’t do now; Things I won’t do later; Things I’ll never do.”

Here’s to SOARing!


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