Don’t neglect your planning time.
If you’re just winging it when it comes to executing anything in life, you’re leaving the outcome to chance. Planning is the key to doing something well. It is the process of learning and answering questions ahead of time so that you can execute something more effectively. Anyone can agree that it’s near impossible to execute well if you don’t plan first.
Planning vs. Intent
Planning is the process by which we take concepts and ideas and turn them into actionable things to execute. It’s getting past the concept of doing, and getting your thoughts around the action of doing. Let’s not confuse intending with planning. Intending is a precursor to planning, but it’s not a plan. Intent means you haven’t done any thinking about the execution.
Planning in the moment is low-quality planning compared to planning ahead of time. You have more time to focus and focus more completely when you’re planning ahead of time. And focusing ahead of time means you're more likely to make better choices. The quality of your planning directly affects the quality of your execution.
A lot of people don’t plan their leadership, but instead they simply show up and try to lead. They don’t plan how to lead, or plan the conversations they have with people, or plan how they will show up each day. If this describes you, remember that you can change and start to plan well by following these steps:
- Write things down and put them in front of you. This will improve your concentration and focus.
- Put it on your calendar. It can’t be a plan if it’s not on your calendar.
- Make the necessary decisions.
- Don’t leave questions unanswered.