Posted by: careerworks | December 27, 2010

Getting Things Done in the New Year

At this time of the year, most people plan to change a few things to achieve better results in the New Year. Some people plan to lose weight, some people try once again to quit smoking, and still others plan to change or get a new job.

I’d like to write a bit about the planning part because that’s where most well intended people get into trouble and never start to achieve their intended result. To that end, people often make the mistake of believing that planning needs to be a complicated exercise. It doesn’t. It doesn’t require new software, classes in planning or long convoluted forms. In fact it’s better  the less complicated we make it.

So here’s an approach you can use:

Start with an objective; something you want to achieve at a high level within a specific period of time (month, quarter, year, etc).

Then add three Action Steps that are tangible and will clearly demonstrate that you are achieving/working toward the objective.

Here’s an example if you wanted to find a new job.

Objective: Find a new job within the first quarter of 2011

Action Step 1: I will reduce the time I spend online looking at job boards (spending no more than 1 hour per day).

Action Step 2: I will schedule the time I spend on email and other media to 2, 30 minute time periods (maybe morning and afternoon) each day.

Action Step 3: I will connect with 5 new people each day to schedule informational interviews, networking meetings (whatever you choose to call them) and expand my network by 100 people each month.

Each of the Action Steps can be tracked or measured to ensure you stay within the framework of your objective.

Your plan should be no longer than 80 words and fit on a quarter of a page. My example is 94 words but I’d need to subtract 18 words which are instructional leaving me with a plan of 76 words. If it is to long, you’ll need to make it more succinct. Simplicity is the key to making this usable.

Remember ‘If you don’t have a plan for yourself, someone else probably does. What is their plan for you?’

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Responses

  1. Hi Tom,

    I like your blog. Simple, but very significant suggestions.

    Karen


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