As an online entrepreneur or coach, juggling a limitless number of tasks and responsibilities is the norm. The to-do lists are never ending and there is always something that needed to be done like yesterday! So, it’s no surprise that maintaining a planning routine that supports your business goals is not just beneficial—it’s a necessity.
When you make planning a priority it allows you the time and space you need to do more in less time. It gives you room to focus on your goals and thoughts with a sense of clarity, and it keeps you tethered to all of the other important habits that make building a wildly successful business possible.
Today we’ll be sharing some solid planning advice so that you can finally stick to your planning routine for sustained success. Ready to hit those big, big goals of yours?
Let’s dive in.
1 - Understand The Power of Planning
Successful entrepreneurs and coaches recognize that planning is not just a cute thing to do; but an essential part of your overall productivity and prosperity.
It is important to take a moment to understand the power planning holds in steering your business towards your goals. A clear, strategic plan provides direction, helps in prioritizing tasks, and ensures that your efforts are aligned with your long-term vision.
You don’t just want to plan for the sake of planning, you want to plan to win!
2 - Choose The Right Planning Tools
Selecting the right planning tools is crucial for your routine’s effectiveness. Whether it’s a digital planner, a traditional (printable) planner, or a combination of both, ensure that your planner and the tools you use to write in your planner match your preferences and business needs.
Experiment with different options until you find the tools that seamlessly align with your planning style and workflow.
3 - Set Clear and Achievable Goals
A planner without a plan is just wasted paper! Your planning routine should revolve around clear and achievable goals. Now “achievable” does not necessarily mean easy as you do want to challenge yourself to dream big, but make sure that when setting your goals, that your goals are realistic and when establishing your planning routine you start simple.
Break down your long-term objectives into smaller, actionable tasks. These bite-sized goals not only make the planning process less overwhelming but also provide a sense of accomplishment as you check them off.
As create consistency in how you attack your goals and as you grow and adapt to your planning style (and stick to your planning schedule), it’ll become easier to try various planning (and goal setting) methods and add more planning sheets to your planner.
4 - Establish a Planning Routine
Consistency, follow through, and getting things done begin with a daily planning ritual. The most effective way to stick to a habit is to make it visible and to schedule a specific day or time to use it. Pick a specific time each day to write in your planner, and review and plan your tasks. This dedicated time allows you to assess what needs to be done, prioritize tasks and set realistic expectations for the days and weeks ahead. Whether it’s during your lunch break, the start of your day, or the evening before, find a routine that suits your working style.
Then, ensure that your planner is front and center and in a place you frequent often so it stays top of mind. Personally, I keep mine on my desk so it’s easy to get to while I’m working. But you can keep your planner in your purse or tote bag, on your bedside table, or in your living room! This way, your planner serves as a reminder to plan as needed.
5 - Grab a Planning Partner
Share your planning routine with a colleague, friend, or fellow entrepreneur. Having an accountability partner can significantly increase your commitment to your plan. Regular check-ins, shared goals, and mutual support create a positive environment for sticking to your planning routine.
Thoughts & Things
After you’ve set your goals, established your planning routine and picked a place to ensure your planner stays within arms length at all times, , the next step is to be intentional in using your planner.
Your planner doesn’t work unless your work it. Be specific, be detailed and be purposeful when planning. If you’re finding it hard to stick to your scheduled planning time, challenge yourself to follow through even when you don’t feel like it and reward yourself for your consistency!
This method always makes me feel accomplished and productive. And I get to reward myself with a little something nice for honoring my commitments.
If self-bribery doesn’t work, you may need to dig deeper into why you are having such a hard time following through on things. You may want to consider breaking down your goals into smaller actionable items or you may need to adjust the content that you add to your planning sheets.
For example, if you have a goal to “Create 1 blog post for the week” and you find that you’re always pushing it down your to do list, maybe you can reframe how you are adding your action items to your planner, by writing “outline blog post” on Monday, “write and edit blog post” on Tuesday, and “SEO blog post” on Wednesday and “schedule/publish blog post” on Thursday — and so on.
By breaking down your tasks into bite-sized to-dos, projects won’t seem so daunting and you’ll be able to work through your week with greater easy and efficiency instead of feeling like you have to tackle a large task in just one day.
Planning is fun, but it also takes work but after sticking to your planning routine consistently, you’ll find that using your planner becomes just another thing you do naturally and organically as an entrepreneur!