I had it on my calendar yesterday to do my annual Game Planning Session and although the snow around DC delayed my start time, I was still able to get it done. And by the way, I call it “Game Planning” instead of business planning because it includes personal goals such as exercise, diet, personal finance and family issues. I prefer to have it all in one plan because the things I want to accomplish are so interrelated, not to mention time-sensitive. I have to stay on a pretty tight schedule in order to fit everything in.
You may have noticed from my previous blog posts that I often like to organize my thoughts into a list. I think that format will work well in this situation (of course I think that)…so here we go:
Chris’ tips to an Effective Business/Game Planning Session
1. Make it an appointment on your calendar, like any other, and don’t miss it. Treat is as being very important because, well, it is.
2. Do it at a location other than your office or home. In those places, where you spend almost all of your time, it is too likely you’ll be distracted by your usual routines. For this planning session you want to be away from your normal activities so you are able to focus and think in a way that you don’t think when you’re in the everyday grind. Pick a place where you are comfortable but can concentrate. I went to Barnes and Noble and sat in a big chair in the corner of the upstairs. It worked out pretty well.
3. Do it during business hours. This is when your brain is functioning the best because you are used to thinking and concentrating during this time. At night you are tired and your brain is slower. On the weekends you are thinking about weekend stuff. During the work day is the way to go.
4. Turn off your cell phone and close your email. I know it sounds drastic but it’s important. Your Crackberry or Iphone is the biggest distraction ever invented. Email is a close second. You can’t have that when you are planning your next 12 months.
5. Brain dump. Open up MS Word and just let it flow. You can re-write later. Think, write and repeat. You’ll be surprised at some of the things that come out. They are probably things you had in your brain…you just weren’t completely conscious of them. It’s pretty cool.
6. Don’t forget dates! As they say, “A goal without a timeline is just a wish.” Mark the exact date by which you will accomplish a certain task.
7. If the goal is big and/or complicated, include the steps to get there and the resources you’ll need to make it happen. Don’t just throw out something big like “launch e-commerce website” without a step by step process to get there.
8. Concerning production numbers- set the bar high and shoot for it. I used to work with some guys who would set their production goal way low and double it every year. What is the point of that?
9. Take breaks! You want to be fresh during all of this, not rushing to get it done. If you need a break, take one and drink some coffee or something.
10. Re-read it the next day. You’ll re-write, elaborate and clarify some things. You’ll also enjoy what you were able to get on paper.
This is a tip from Julius Park at Crazy 88 BJJ & MMA- post your plan in a place where many people can see it. It will do wonders for accountability. It’s also very ballsy and I have to admit I am still too chicken to do this. Haha. Maybe next year!
I hope you enjoyed my list. Best of luck with your 2011 game planning!
Hard Money Bankers, LLC