6 Key Steps to Strengthen Your Planning Skills

man planning and reading his notes on the wall
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In every aspect of our lives, the first and yet not so easy thing to do is planning. It basically means the process of making plans for something. Some of life’s mishaps were caused by either impulsive actions or by simply not having plans at all. Planning is also a skill for others who are gifted or born with it. Some took advantage of people who have this skill. Whatever our beliefs, one would agree that the best results come from better planning.

The Irish Times published some keys on How to strengthen your planning skill:

1. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses

Before starting anything, may it be a project or a goal, we must know the things we are good at and the things we need to improve. The process of finishing a project or achieving a goal is tedious. Thus, even if we are still in the planning stage, it is important to know the things we know we can excel and the things we need improvement and probably help. It will give us a better perspective on how we can reach our goal.

2. Accept the difficulty

Success doesn’t come easy. The road leading there is full of stumbling blocks. If you want to achieve that goal or finish that task, giving up should never be an option. You have to anticipate that there will always be unforeseen circumstances in going through the process. Pretty sure while you are planning how to get things done, you already have an idea of what would be the probable issues you need to address.

How you deal with difficulties will tell you how far you can go in life. Allow yourself to feel dismayed, after that, put your game face back on.

3. Let go of all-or-nothing thinking

We should always keep in mind that things don’t always go the way we want it to, that our carefully thought out plan won’t be followed perfectly. Instead, we have to be flexible and adapt to whatever situation we are on. It isn’t an effort wasted, think of it as a challenge, a learning process.

The planning process is not smooth- sailing. There will always be surprises waiting for us, sometimes pleasant, sometimes not. We should prepare to bend.

4. Find systems that work

What system do you use in the following schedules? There are a couple of things you can choose from. You can use sticky notes, whiteboards, spreadsheets, apps on your phone, planner, or a paper calendar. Choose what best fits for you.

5. Borrow other people’s brains

They said two is better than one. It is, and it works in planning as well. When you are not sure you are on the right road, seek advice from people who are experienced and have excellent planning skills. It doesn’t mean you are not competent enough, on the contrary, it makes you wise. Remember, nothing beats experience as the perfect learning tool.

6. Keep trying

If frustration creeps in while you are in the process of planning, take a deep breath and reassess. Develop self-compassion when you make mistakes, refocus when you get sidetracked, and adjust your plan when new issues pop up. If you do not plan today, how well can you be prepared for tomorrow? Planning may not be that easy but you can always start from scratch. You have to try and start small to plan something big. You will never know the power of planning can lead you to life’s biggest treat.

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry