Making plans. We can all do it. But can we do it well?
Can we make plans that will stretch us but not overwhelm us, things that are achievable but not easy?
If you have a tendency towards thinking there’s 8 days in a week or you don’t need sleep, then you probably write plans like DO ALL THE THINGS, BY LUNCHTIME.
We’re going to make plans that are a bit less hectic than that.
What are you planning FOR?
Think of your vision for what success looks like – that thing from the previous article that you’ve already been thinking about, yes?
Now we’re going to set some milestones to get from here to there, considering the lessons you’ve learned from looking back.
What are your big chunky steps along the way to success? A level of income, a feeling of control, time to yourself, time for others…
Where would you like to get to this year, how far along that path? What do you need in place to get there?
Let’s plan those things out.
You gotta have a system!
Here’s the format: Big Rocks, Small Rocks, Sand.
Have you heard about this theory before? This is my re-imagining of it.
1) Decide on 1 Big Rock per month, and plan out the whole year. These are a focus, a theme, a subject for each month.
If your business runs seasonally, put those things in first and work the rest around them.
For example, BUILD Business Club is open to new members in January and September – so that’s my focus for those 2 months. In order to tell the most amount of people that BUILD Business Club is open to new members, I need to grow my online audience and email list, so in the months leading up to January and September my focus is growing my audience and list.
2) Assign 3 Small Rocks per month, and plan out 3 months at a time (so right now, writing this in December, that’s Jan/Feb/Mar). This is things like courses and setting up systems, and they relate to your Big Rocks for each month.
If you’re looking at quite a big project, like a course that you know will take several weeks to work through, then make that course your Big Rock for the month and split out working on the course into your Small Rocks (eg watch the videos, complete the workbooks, implement what you’ve learned).
To take an example from my plan, again – in the months when I open the doors to BUILD Business Club, I have to set up all of the promotional stuff for that. The ‘launch’. So for a month where ‘launch’ is the Big Rock (focus), one Small Rock would be creating Facebook ads for the launch, another would be writing notes for a series of live videos in my Facebook group about it, and a third would be creating and scheduling emails about BUILD Business Club to the people on my mailing list.
3) Sand is the task list for getting those Small Rocks done, and we plan those out three weeks at a time. This week, next week, and the week after – that’s as far as you go.
The reason we only look at things in detail in the short-term, is to avoid overwhelm and allow flexibility. If you plan things in tiny detail, far in advance, and circumstances change, that’s a LOT of stuff to reschedule – which takes a LOT of effort and energy, no to mention the time it takes. Let’s avoid that!
At the moment, talking in December about planning Small Rocks for Jan/Feb/Mar, we’re not even looking at the Sand at all yet. Remember, Sand is for this week and the next two. So in the first week of Jan we plan the task list for the first three weeks of the month, and then in the second week of Jan we’ll add our plans for the fourth week, and so on. I hope that makes sense!
We’re not just planning stuff for the sake of it
Think of the lessons you’ve learned from reflecting on this past year, so your Big Rocks and Small Rocks make up manageable, achievable plans that genuinely move you and your business forward.
So, if one of the lessons you’ve learned is that you’re still bloody procrastinating, maybe one of your Big Rocks is tackling that. You know, just as an example…
Note: Everything you’re planning here is business development stuff, not client work. It’s all about YOU.