The Very busy Person’s Action Plan (No.2)

 

2. Action Planning…Getting realistic

24/07/2014  05.45 am

(Graduation Day, yes, still an ungodly hour but I thought I’d get this down whilst it’s fresh in my mind)

Last time  I broached the subject of action planning and its potential downfall…I also left you with a few questions…did you get your answers? Here they are again, just in case:

  1. Do you have an Action Plan?
  2. If not, how do you prioritise daily, weekly, monthly and into the future?
  3. If you do have an Action plan, is it realistic?

Well I’m pretty sure you looked at your action plan (whatever format it is in), and some days it looked ok, ‘do-able’ even realistic but some days…not so do-able as frustrating…the un-ticked tasks glaring back at you from the page…taunting you because they managed to elude you…not good…I know I’ve been there too.

 

So the first thing an (unrealistic) action plan can do is the very opposite of what it should really do…motivate you by showing the progress you’re making, instead an unrealistic plan usually just loses its novelty. At this point most of my clients just shove it in a drawer and pretend it never happened!

 

Now this is not what I want you to do at all because I appreciate the value of a good action plan. So what I want to give you are a few simple tips on things you can do to make your action plan more realistic and therefore more motivating.

I have always had action plans for as long as I can remember, I guess for me, it was the only way to ensure everything got done, this was particularly important when the girls were very young (yes I was alone…my ex-husband pretty much upped and left when second one was on her way, in hindsight it was for the best!). I was self-employed (what was I thinking!!) It was important to me to make sure that I was fair with my time. Let me share something with you that is true today as it was then…

…I always maintained that whatever I did as a single parent…as important as it was to earn money and put food on the table and a roof over our heads…my one important value was that I would enjoy the children as thoroughly as I possibly could! I didn’t want to sacrifice that time with them by being busy doing ‘necessary stuff’ and missing out on those precious moments.

I can honestly say that I have kept to that value, as challenging as it has been at times, I have somehow managed to strike that very important balance…well it’s important to me because I have had a few scares in my time…

…I effectively died for 2 minutes 6 years ago, my heart stopped (luckily I was already in hospital so out came the crash trolley)…boy did that shake me up!! It made me cherish every single day of my life beyond that point.

More recently, the accident really endorsed what is important to me and what my priorities should be. I’m sure you may have something else that is equally as important to you for which you aim to strike that balance in your life.

As I mentioned previously, life did bring some extremely big challenges this year which was not great timing as one business was barely a year old and I had just launched the second.

I joined a great mentoring group because having the accident and health issues that ensued made me realise that I was not invincible and I needed to do something to create a safety net for times when I was unable to swap my time for money.

I have to say it’s been great!! I have like-minded people to talk to and we support each other. However, it is ever so interesting looking at how differently we approach and do things  and how different our core values are.  

Yet, we all get on and I am so grateful to have such a fabulous group of  people sharing this new  adventure with me.

Some of the group are racing ahead doing lots and creating new income streams, some spend days working from 8am to 11pm full on to achieve their goals and that’s just amazing, I am in awe. I, however, am not moving at that pace. I wake up at 5.30 am and do a bit of yoga, get ready make breakfast, do the school run then I start work, I do as much as I can before the school run and then come back cook and don’t start working again until 7 pm as there has to be quality time with my girls.

There is one day in each week where I don’t do much work towards the business at all because I have the charity I run. It is a labour of love and it needs a great deal of planning and paperwork to ensure things run as they should.  This also takes up  one evening a week that I physically run the sessions for the children in the project.

Do you see how my values and priorities mean that I can only do so much? I am so fine with that because I know each day has been utilised to its full potential in a holistic way and it works for me…if I had an action plan that achieved as much as my wonderful colleagues do, the business would grow faster but I know I wouldn’t be feeling it as it doesn’t align with who I am.

What’s the one thing that you feel this way about? Whatever it is, factor it into your plan don’t disregard it…this is important because it’s important to you…forget about what others are doing…hopefully they too are aligning to their own values.

The next thing to do is to factor in the things that you really will not want to sacrifice, mine are the children, kick boxing ( stopped for a while due to the injury from the accident), Zumba, swimming and of course my charity. This is what I call “VALUES stuff”, it’s important because it is important to YOU

 

Now at this point it is important to be realistic about the time you allocate to this “value stuff”…factor in getting ready, travel time etc. and add another 15/20 minutes for good measure and if you get it done quicker than the allocated time…woo hoo!! More time for you at the end of your day!

 

So start your action plan today by adding in all the things we discussed above, everything else…all the other important stuff can now be fitted around your “values stuff” T.he chances are that you will now feel more compelled to following through with your action plan because it also includes the stuff that’s important to you and who you are.

There are a few other things to mention on this topic …more on that next time.

So I mentioned the accident and the very turbulent start to 2014…I was involved in a car accident….a big whopping whack to the back of my then car (R.I.P to the car)….the damage caused was more than I first realised and my life had to change literally overnight.