Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for January, 2009

Planning is key.

Good news on this end. Two weeks after surgery and I’m feeling pretty good. And grateful. Tough road, but I feel comfortable standing by my last entry…expect the best, and you just might positively affect results. I definitely have a journey ahead of me with PT and all, but here’s to experiencing as much ease as possible.

As for re-entering into work mode, and picking up the pace, I’m thankful that I spent some significant time, before my leave, to plan for my re-entry. In my experience—whether planning for a leave, or simply managing a heavy workload—taking the time to plan is key. Here is one powerful guideline that may help with your planning process.

Ask yourself this question as you review each of your upcoming meetings, events or deadlines: When is the FIRST time I need to think about this? The answer to this question is a date (or week) in your planning system, where you place your first prompter. A prompter may have you taking action on specific tasks, following up, looking for a promised response from someone else, or generating a few ideas towards a creative project. Be sure that your prompters are placed in a less than urgent spot. For example, if you’re facilitating a staff meeting on Fri, the 21st—although you may only need an hour to prepare—your first prompter may show up three days prior to the meeting and might read: Begin staff mtng prep for Fri.

You may decide to list out specific steps as you plan, or you might break down the specifics in response to your first prompter. Either way, once you have your tasks or preparation chunked down and prompted within timeframes that allow you a bit of prep time, you’ll notice an increase in your peace of mind as you trust your planning system to prompt you when the time is right. This same planning and prompting process can be used for projects, demands or meetings as they come up.

Feeling overwhelmed? Or trying to minimize stressing over a heavy workload? Take the time to plan! Once well planned, getting the job done is so much easier.