Friday, April 23, 2010

A Time to Plan

I recently learned a statistic that says 80 percent of success in life comes from taking action, and only 20 percent comes from planning. I'm not sure where the statistic originated, but I heard it from Master Life Coach David Essel.

What that tells me is that many of us spend way too much time planning our lives -- personal and professional. David says we "overplan" to avoid doing the things we don't want to do, and that too much planning and not enough action keeps us from being successful and getting what we want out of life.

He also said there is a best time of the day to do our planning. Did you know that? I didn't. Surprisingly, it's at the end of the day -- not the beginning of the day.

"If we walk into the office in the morning and we don’t have a plan yet, we are sunk," David says. "Our planning should never be done in the morning. Ever."
Why? Because most people feel the most energetic in the morning, and the least in the late afternoon. David says we should not waste our morning energy on planning. "You’re spinning your wheels ... you’ve got to do the action first."

That makes sense to me. Since I am at my best in the morning, I shouldn't waste that energy on planning. Instead, I should be working on more creative tasks and taking action on my "to-do" list. Then, if I sit down to plan at the end of the day, I'll be ready to hit the ground running when I get up the next day!

David says the difference between people who are incredibly successful and those who are not, is that those who are successful understand the principle of 80 percent action, 20 percent planning. Action in the morning. Planning at night.

I've been trying this new philosophy over the past week, and it's worked out great! I am finishing up projects left and right and simply enjoying knowing I am using my bubbly morning energy to be productive!

I also started two new productivity techniques this week. I started putting a time guesstimate next to each project to help give me an idea of how long it will take. Then, I decide which of the 15 items on my "to-do" list I can actually accomplish that day. I don't choose them all -- only a few. This way, I feel good at the end of the day, instead of behind.

Happy Friday!

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