How many times after a long day in the office have you come away feeling a little empty that you have not achieved anything? You have great intensions to finish a number of tasks but at the end of your shift you feel that you have left far too much at the table or even worse feel empty like you have achieved nothing. I have felt like that many times in the past but over time I am slowly training myself to follow the Plan Do Review cycle.
It’s very common amongst many professionals to fall into the trap of just ‘getting on with it’. And in this day and age with so many more entrepreneurs out there it’s so important that a culture of discipline is created so that we get into the Plan Do Review Process. It will greatly improve your productivity and the most amazing thing is that once you review the results you are achieving you will see a mental shift in your approach to work and your productivity will improve.
Plan Do Review – The Plan
It’s simple really, before you begin each day sit down and write down everything you need to achieve that day. All tasks, errands, blogs, emails, telephone calls, basically everything that is important to be completed for that day. The Plan Do Review system is really simple and the idea is that if done properly will improve every aspect of your daily routine. Include in your daily schedule all aspects of your day including meals, breaks and gym sessions.
The next step of the “Plan Do Review – The Plan” stage is to prioritise your list so that you begin your day with the most important tasks. My top tip is also to include the expected amount of time each task should take you as this will be important in the review stage.
Once you have your list prioritised and your day mapped out you can crack on. That’s what we call the “Plan Do Review – The Do” phase.
Plan Do Review – Doing The Work
You have created a schedule and now you must set about your tasks with enthusiasm. Make sure that you have prioritised tasks that will most impact your business from a money making perspective. By this I mean do whatever tasks are going to generate you income, beautifying your website is important but it’s not really what puts food on the table. I always believe in an 80/20 approach were your day is broken into 80% money making activity and 20% for the rest. Make sure the 80% money making activity is at the top of your Plan Do Review process.
Another important “Plan Do Review – Doing the Work” factor is those pesky tasks that we hate doing. Make sure you do at least one of these “I’ll do it tomorrow” tasks every day. Schedule it in your list and make sure you have it as a task when you feel best about your day. For example if you are a morning person and have to phone a client about a complaint he has made be sure you do it in the morning.
Another Plan Do Review top tip is to write down how long each task takes you. See a pattern here? Following on from the work you did in the “Plan Do Review – The Plan” phase you now have a comparison between how long certain tasks take you and what your expectations were. We only have a certain amount of time in the day available to us and we need to understand how we are spending that time – this is key in the “Plan Do Review – The Review” phase.
Plan Do Review – The Review
We have now completed the day’s work and we come to the “Plan Do Review – The Review” phase. Hopefully you have kept to your schedule and ticked the tasks off that are completed. It’s sometimes a good idea to make some short notes as to how each task was completed; you should have also noted the time spent on each task.
To make the Plan Do Review system really work we have to analyse our day’s progress so that we can improve the performance of future days. A classic issue with completing tasks is that it often takes much longer than we realise to complete them. If we spend two hours on a task that we schedule one hour for our whole day is going to be thrown out of synch. So it’s through this review process that we learn to allocate more time to tasks or find better, more time efficient ways of completing them. There is nothing worse than finishing a day and thinking, crikey I only did two out the ten things I needed to do.
Plan Do Review, it’s simple to manage and get control of your daily tasks. Once you get into the habit of the Plan Do Review system you will start to find that you achieve more in your day and start to have a much more positive outlook about your achievements.
Plan Do Review
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