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Eight Strategies

Here are eight initial planning strategies that will help you get started toward a successful future.

  1. Develop the Planning Habit. Plan everything you do until the process becomes automatic. Start with simple day-to-day errands, then work your way up to lifetime goals and objectives. Know which tasks have highest priority, and do those first. Leave no more to chance than is absolutely necessary.

  2. Find a Way. Your physical surroundings and the people around you should contribute to your planning efforts, not frustrate them. So find a place where you’ll be encouraged to plan. Experiment with different settings. Work alone or with someone. Ask for suggestions, or keep to yourself. See what works best for you and utilize it wherever you can.

  3. Get Help. Know what you have to do to complete your tasks and know what kind of help you’re going to need from others. Delegate complete authority and responsibility to people who know what you’re doing and who are willing to help. Give them crystal-clear instructions, then back off and let them do the best they can.

  4. Be Accurate. Base your plans on concrete facts and real situations. Know the difference between the way things are and the way you want them to be. Get the best information available, then draw up realistic estimates of your chances for success.

  5. Be Perceptive. Be on the alert for new opportunities, and take advantage of them whenever you can. Anticipate obstacles and devise effective means of getting rid of them. Develop alternate plans to deal with contingencies. Know where you are every step of the way.

  6. Keep It Simple. Your plan should be simple, well organized, and clearly understood. Tasks and activities should be well-defined, timetables should be realistic, and resources should be attainable.

  7. Get Better. Don’t leave your planning to chance. If you don’t have the skill, discipline, or expertise to carry out your plans, then take time to acquire them. Strive for greater competency through daily practice and additional study.

  8. Be Flexible. Be responsive to every possibility. Modify, change, or revise your plans if they prove to be unworkable or obsolete. Avoid the functionally and psychologically destructive stress of inflexibility.



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