“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
If the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry, then why even bother planning?
Because the very act of planning helps you organize your thinking, shape your future actions, and prepare you for the good, the bad, and the downright ugly that might go wrong.
And, It’s really tough to wing things well when you’re under pressure and in the thick of things.
In his best-selling book, Goals!: How to Get Everything You Want — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible, Brian Tracy shares the formula for success, along with 7 advantages of proper planning. Here’s the six P formula for personal and business success:
‘Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance’
It’s a simple formula for success, but it emphasizes the idea that those that fail to plan, plan to fail.
7 Advantages of Planning
According to Tracy, here are the 7 distinct advantages of performing proper prior planning:
- Organize your thinking. First, the planning process forces you to organize your thinking and identify all the key issues that must be dealt with if you are ultimately going to succeed.
- Plan your actions carefully. Second, thinking through what you must do to accomplish your goals enables you to plan your actions carefully before you begin, thereby saving you enormous costs in time, people, and money.
- Identify potential flaws in your approach. Third, a good plan, thoroughly discussed and evaluated, enables you to identify flaws and errors that could prove fatal to your business later on. It enables you to ask, ‘what if?’ questions. For example, ‘What are the worst possible things that could happen if you were to take a particular course of action.’
- Identify weaknesses in your plan and create corrective actions. The fourth benefit of proper prior planning is that it enables you to identify weaknesses in your plan and make provisions to compensate for those weaknesses in your plan and make provisions to compensate for those weaknesses. Often, you can identify a ‘fatal flaw’ that would lead to the failure of the enterprise. This is only possible by going through the planning process.
- Identify strengths and opportunities to improve success. Fifth, planning enables you to identify strengths and potential opportunities that you can take advantage of to increase the likelihood of success. Often, you will be unaware of your particular strengths or the opportunities that exist in the situation before you go through the planning process.
- Concentrate your efforts on the vital few objectives. The sixth benefit of planning is that it enables you to focus your time and money and concentrate all of your resources on the one or two objectives that you must achieve to make an enterprise successful. In the absence of clear focus and concentration, you will tend to spread your energies over a wide area and accomplish very little.
- Save time, money, and energy by avoiding confusion and mistakes. The seventh benefit of proper prior planning is that it will inevitably save you hours, weeks, and months of confusion, mistakes, and losses of both money and energy.
While your plans may change, hopefully it’s the act of planning that provides you some stability and a firm foundation to propel your way forward.
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