We are moving right along with our Elephant Eating! I hope you are starting to see that big elephant as a bunch of little pieces. Are you beginning to have some hope that you actually CAN eat this thing?
Last week, we talked about Mind Mapping to get all the elephant-y ideas out of your head and on to paper, and yesterday, Zohary gave you some great tips for breaking it all down into pieces. Today, we are giving you a tool to plan and schedule those pieces. It gives you a kind of road map to follow and keeps you on track to completing your project or meeting your goal.
The Planning Six-Pack
Your Planning Six-Pack can cover whatever time span works best for you and your project. Six days, six weeks or six months. But six of something just seems to work great!
- Start by labeling each block of the six-pack with the dates they represent.
- Next, add your big milestones in the appropriate boxes. These should be the two or three really important deadlines or actions that can make or break the whole deal, including your final deadline.
- Then, review the actions on your list or mind map and identify any actions you cannot or should not do before the deadline. Think of these activities as being “on the shelf”. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever do them or they are not good ideas. They are just not for this time, maybe because you don’t have the resources or the capacity to do them. Note them in the “Shelf” section of the Planning Six-Pack.
- Think again about your target for this time period. Pray and ask God to show you where He wants you to focus. It may be just one area on your map for now. Or perhaps it is to make progress in a few areas in parallel. Pick items from your list or map that will most directly support your God-assignment. Put each of them in a slot on your Planning Six-Pack. Place them carefully, balancing the time and resources that you have available.
- Once your Six-Pack is full, look back at the items left on your list or mind map. Is there anything there that is really important and needs to be done within your time frame to reach your target? You may need to move things around or move something to the shelf to make room, along with anything else left on the list.
Now, right about now, you are saying to yourself, “Really?? That’s all there is to it??” Yes. That’s all there is to it. There is nothing hard about making a plan. The hard part comes in following your plan! More info on that coming!
Take one last look at your Planning Six-Pack. Does it make sense? Are the items in a logical order? Do you need to assign some tasks to someone else? Does it make you excited? Or overwhelmed before you even start? Make any final adjustments and then commit to it!