"I love it when a plan comes together," Hannibal Smith smilingly said in the 80s hit show A-Team, watching a huge bright explosion in the background. While most of us can't relate to being a hard-ass mercenary soldier who basically blows stuff up for a living, the feeling of accomplishment when a plan goes the way you want, is something most people yearn. And the thing you need to achieve it? A plan.
Having a great plan is a key to doing great things. Here is our list of reasons you should spend more time planning your time and making sure you work on the right things. Also, as most readers probably don't need convincing that having a plan is good, here are the boons you get from spending time planning your week. Every week.
Weekly planning makes you more productive.
Being productive doesn't have to mean, you're always working like many people think. It's more about doing the right things, focusing your energy on what matters and reaping benefits from that.
Weekly planning helps you have a work-life balance.
Planning your time effectively means you can plan more free time as well. And that's more important than is possible to stress. A study by Duxbury and Higgins in 2007 found that 1 in 4 Canadians report that their work responsibilities interfere with their ability to fulfill their responsibilities at home. But it's more than that. Work life conflict has been associated with numerous physical and mental health implications. So, if I'd want to be overly dramatic I'd say, "plan your week or die."
Weekly planning teaches you when to say "no".
Having a plan every week helps you understand what aspects of your work are useful and productive in the long run and what parts contribute very little to your overall success. It's the Pareto Principle or 80/20 rule that states that "80% of success comes from 20% of work." If you have a written plan that you can look back at every week, in a few months you start understanding better what is this 20%. And you can start reducing your load by not doing tasks, not accepting projects that won't help you move forward.
Weekly planning makes sure you know what's going on.
At work, we usually have millions of small tasks that demand our attention. So many, at the end of the day we hardly ever can easily remember them all. Sticking to written plans helps us remember those tasks week later as well.
Weekly planning teaches you to share.
Sharing your plans and progress with your team and managers helps to improve the company as a whole. That's why it wise to use weekly planning software like Weekdone with your whole team. When plans are public, people know what you are working on and it's reasonable of them to distract you with their own problem. Google uses this sort of public goal setting with Objectives and Key Results. The idea is that when everyone knows what everyone is working for, people understand their and their company's work better. And that increases engagement and teamwork's quality.
"I love it when a plan comes together," not because I enjoy the feeling of success too much (well, I do, but still) but I get my thrills getting there with as little stress as possible. Being good at your work doesn't have to mean endless days and stress filled weekends. It means executing a well-thought out vision and doing it without much fuss.