5 Tips for Effective Planning

By Ashley Mayer, Lead Mission Manager


Effective planning is a key ingredient for success. The dreams and goals that each of us has cannot be achieved if not for proper planning. That book you have been wanting to write, the vacation you are anticipating to take, the business plan you have been dreaming of implementing, these all take careful and strategic planning to make a reality. With the New Year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to block out time to plan what you really want to make happen.

One of the things I love to do is cook and host dinner parties and brunches for my friends. In order for me to successfully cook a delicious meal I have to first make the time to plan for it. The same goes for planning in business. Here are the 5 effective planning tips I’ve learned and adopted that will lead to successfully achieving the goals and dreams you have for this year.

  1. Find a clear space to think. It’s important to find a sanctuary space where you can go and just focus on the vision of what you want to accomplish. This clears your mind from any potential distractions and allows you to be as creative and strategic as possible. Limit any outside communication or noise and allow yourself the space to focus on what you are trying to achieve with your planning.
  2. Find the right tools. One of the tools that we use at JJR to stay on track and organized is Trello. This is an online project management system that allows for our team to collaborate and communicate online. It’s an excellent visual tool for managing project flow, deadlines, documents, team members and helps to streamline communication.
  3. Envision the end goal. Close your eyes and picture what you want to achieve. Then, start writing anything and everything that comes to mind with that goal. You can streamline things that overlap or are unrelated from there.
  4. Be flexible. Life happens and things have the opportunity to change unexpectedly. It’s important to leave wiggle room in your plan to pivot when impromptu opportunities arrive. I’ve learned that if you create a plan that is too strict or tight on time, it can run into problems when the unexpected arises.
  5. Have fun with it! It’s so easy to look at a blank planner and feel overwhelmed with what you need to plug in to accomplish. I challenge you to find this as a fun challenge- you are in charge of crafting your life exactly the way you want. At the end of the day, it’s what you’ve accomplished that will make you happy.

Whether you are whipping up the next best pasta dish or planning for the upcoming 2017 year, it’s important to set aside the time to strategically plan for it. Effective planning makes all the difference – and with 2017 quickly approaching, it’s time to get your hands on a new calendar for the start of the year. Happy planning!

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