Thursday, December 01, 2011

90 Day Plan: D-2 - Creating the Plan

You've spent time on preparation activities and you've organised yourself a little better. Next up, creating that 90-day plan.

This is where that extra effort over the past few days begins to pay off.

You need a year planner, a diary, a list of everybody's commitments over the next 90 days, tracking sheets, to-do sheets and a 90-day plan template. You may also want to use 7-day plan templates.

Got all of those together in one place? That's OK, I'll wait...

If you haven't got tracking sheet, to-do list and 90-day plan/7-day plan templates, contact me through the comments and I'll send you a set.

Welcome back.

1. Get the year planner up on the wall and draw a border around the 90 days you'll be working your plan.
2. If your business 'weeks', 'months' or 'periods' don't line up with the standard Sunday - Saturday or Monday - Sunday options, mark those out on your planner as well.
3. Mark out ALL commitments for the 90 day plan duration on your wall planner.

You now have a visual reminder for yourself and your family for the next 90 days.

4. Take your 90-day plan template, which should be marked out in 30 minute blocks from 6am to midnight.
5. Block out periods of time for all normal activity - bathing, exercise, meals, housework, gardening, travel to/from work/higher education studies and, of course, the day job/lectures.
6. Block out periods of time for all other commitments - family events, club meetings, holiday away from home.

Take a good, long look at the gaps in your schedule. What you are looking for are blocks of 1 to 5 hours that you can devote to your business for at least 6 days out of every 7.

Found them? You need to be working on your business for 20 hours per week part-time, more if you're full-time.

7. Block out your business activity for the next 90 days. You will be sticking to this plan; make sure it's sustainable.

The next section is optional, but advisable:

7a. Take a 7 day plan template and block out your business activity for each day. This time, be more specific. If you plan to hand out leaflets, deliver catalogues or do surveys on a particular day, write down the streets or area now. If you don't use a template, this information needs to go in your diary for those days.

7b. Repeat 7a for all 13 weeks.

Back to that wallplanner:

8. Block out your business activity on the year planner; one simple way to do this is to use stickers of different colours, shapes and sizes depending on available time and type of activity. Remember to create a key to those stickers and display that on your wall, too.

You now have 3 levels of information for your 90-day plan - a high level summary on the year planner, a mid-level management report in the 90-day plan template and detailed operational activity in the 7 day plans.

9. Create activity tracking sheets for each type of activity you intend to undertake and ensure you have enough copies to cover 90 days of activity. You will be using these every day, in conjunction with to-do lists, to maximise your time and effort.

10. Make sure that you have a central store for all your planning and tracking paperwork, be it in a computer folder or in a filing cabinet or lever arch file. Don't give yourself opportunities to fail.

Tomorrow, we'll cover the pre-action review phase. Have fun planning!

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