In my last blog on the subject of Focus I described a method of prioritising; simply putting tasks in 3 levels of importance. It’s a method that’s less sophisticated than the famous 4 box model of Urgent vs Important, but probably more practical for many of us. Today’s blog, still on the topic of focus, is about a subject close to my heart as an Accountant….Business Plans! And yes, Accountants do have hearts!
A Goal Without A Plan Is Just A Wish…
In my eBook on Focus I ask these two questions:
Does the business have a business plan that is rolled out across the business?
Does the business regularly check or review its business plan?
I accept that many businesses find it hard to create a business plan. Why plan when things are changing so often? I don’t need money from the bank so why do I need one of those standard business plan documents that you can just Google? These reasons are common and I’m not going to debate them today – read my FREE eBook for the answers.
Reviewing a plan
What I’d like to focus on today (no pun intended) is the process of reviewing a plan during the time that the plan is being used. The main three points I’d like to make are:
- A plan is a plan. At the time you created the plan it was the best estimate of the future you had. It outlined how you would be able to do the things you needed to do. As I always say, stuff gets in the way and the plan often needs to be changed. That’s how we learn from experience. So updating a plan to reflect more recent events, news and knowledge should be the normal thing to do.
- The second point follows on from the first. Once a plan is put together it needs executing. That will usually mean giving people tasks. Explaining what they have to do. Putting some arrangements in place to see how the plan is doing. One of the key things here is communicating. It is also a good idea to get people involved in the actual planning stage. Then they are onboard when it comes to executing the plan.
- The final point is to review activity. Saying you need to review the progress of your plan seems pretty obvious. The hidden benefit of having regular reviews and updates of a plan is that it help maintain focus. If you have one plan running and are regularly reviewing it then it’s harder to set a load more plans off running at the same time. I’m not saying only have one plan at a time, but sticking to a plan does limit the number you can add.
And that’s the power of focus. It means you can concentrate on getting the most important things done and reduce the chances of being distracted. Whether it’s by squirrels (see previous my blog) or other equally unimportant things.
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