This week, I presented a webinar talk on optimising personal organisation. Today, we want to discuss the same topic here. Many people have huge potential to excel in life but they fail simply because they are not organised. As such, they do many random things without any plan to them.
First one needs to be clear about their purpose in life. Your purpose in life guides the direction of your actions. With a purpose in life, you are able to define your goals. These goals ought to be broken down into short term, medium term and long term types or categories. This way, you know which actions are to be taken over a long time, which ones over medium length of time and which actions are urgent and need to be completed as soon as possible.
Once you have set your goals, it becomes easy to make a priority list from the numerous demands you meet at work and at home. You will prioritise the actions that feed into your goals and those that aligns with your purpose in life. This is the fundamental building block of being organised. You select actions that feed into the direction you want to take your life.
You now need to work on your annual plan – a plan of the actions you want to achieve in a particular year. The best time to make this plan is in December prior to the start of the new year. This is important because it means right from the January 1, you dive into implementation of your yearly plan.
Like companies do, your annual plan also needs to be broken down into chunks. First, break the actions into the four respective quarters of the month namely January to March, April to June, July to September and October to December. This way, you know clearly what to focus during each of the four sets of three-month periods. Plus, this gives you the chance to measure progress to date periodically. Every three months you conduct your review to check if you have completed what you planned to achieve in the three months. For the actions that you did not achieve, you are able to carry forward and give yourself another chance to close them.
The next stage is to break down the quarterly plans into monthly plans. For example, the actions that are planned for July to September quarter need to be broken down into actions to be completed in the respective months of July, August and September. This way, every month you know exactly what to focus on and what to achieve by the end of that month. This gives you a further chance and opportunity for more monitoring and evaluation of your progress every month in addition to every quarter or three months.
Then the monthly plans need to be further allocated to each of the four weeks in that particular month. This means that every Sunday evening or Monday morning, you look at the actions that you need to deliver in that week and break them into what is in the end the most important operational plan – the daily to-do list.
The daily to-do list is what matters in the end except that you cannot have it without starting from your purpose in life, goal setting, annual plan and coming down the quarters, months and weeks. You need to go through the logical process in order to be very organised.
While you need to ensure that you keep to your plans, the plans need to be dynamic and responsive to emerging changing. You need to keep scanning the environment. Often times, around 11 am or mid day, I review my daily to-do list and some actions may be de-prioritised as new emerging important items get on boarded. The more dynamic you are the more relevant you remain and therefore the more successful you become.
Good luck as you work to optimise your personal organising. Remember to be methodical about it for your to truly become organised at highest level possible.