Planning Translates to Dollars and Increased Productivity

By Deanne Kelleher

Not only does time spent planning save you money but it’s estimated that each minute spent in planning saves ten minutes in execution. That’s a thousand-percent return on the time and energy you invest, according to Brian Tracey of Time Power, New York. The challenge is carving out the time required to accurately plan. Here are 6 strategies to help you create planning time:

Set your goals Clearly-defined goals will get you where you want to go.

• Write down your goals and then ask yourself if each goal is SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timed

• Keep your goals where you can see them and review them weekly

• Use your goals to keep you focused and on track

Manage procrastination Ask yourself why you are procrastinating and consider the following:

• If the scope is too big, slice the task into manageable pieces

• Get a clearer picture of the task by discussing it with others

• Break down the project into timelines for interim completion points

• Schedule in your completion dates

Learn to handle interruptions Interruptions can take from three to thirty minutes to recover from.

• Know what you need to handle immediately

• Let others know when you’ll be unavailable and when you’ll be reachable

• Turn off your email and work in undisturbed blocks of time

• If it’s unnecessary, don’t do it, or schedule it for later (much later)

Manage your meetings Optimize your meeting time and everyone will be happier.

• Always produce an agenda with details and timing

• Schedule your meetings on the same day or back-to-back

• Block off  five to fifteen minutes after each meeting to recap and schedule action items

Write it all down Thoughts and ideas just rattling around inside your head are no good to anyone. Create a system you can trust for your ideas, actions, ideas and all the other little things.

• Use your PDA or your paper calendar effectively

• Schedule appointments

• Track your actions and follow up

• Update your contact information

• If it’s a project—no matter how big or small—create a project file

Conquer paperwork Every paper falls into one of four categories: To Do; To Pay; To File; or To Read. Productivity increases when you have an effective paper method system. If you don’t, take a look at the kAos Group Core Four™ system to rein in your paper and enhance your productivity:


DEANNE KELLEHER is the founder of kAos Group, author of the Core Four™ System and a motivational speaker and facilitator on productivity and the realities of disorganization and how to take the reins back. kAos Group works with clients to help identify inefficiencies—the clutter and disorganization that prevents professional and personal growth—and help clients streamline their business and personal lives to reduce stress, increase profits and create more time.

Visit to complete a complimentary Assessment and learn more about your current organizational situation.

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