What's In Your Work Plan?
By Laura-Lee McKeown
Habit #2 from Steven Covey’s smash hit business and self-help book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” states “Begin with the end in mind.” Covey defines the two-parts of every good decision: mental and physical. We dream, imagine or mentally plan, and then we create a physical entity of that dream for things to happen. In your everyday work, that physical entity is the workplan and it always has the end (the outcome) in mind.
Let’s say you’ve decided to hold a birthday party on a certain date. That’s the dream part. In order for that dream to occur, you start working backwards from the goal deadline to determine what’s needed: location, time, guestlist, food and beverages, decorations, music, gift, and a cake. For each of these tasks, you determine how you’re going to get them done, by what date and whether you need to call in help to achieve your goal. Aunt Jane is afterall, an excellent baker; who better to recruit? Ah-ha! This is the workplan! The workplan is a living, flexible guideline, not set in stone. It puts dreams into action and is flexible enough to set you up for success.
Is it a to-do list? No. A to-do lists captures tasks from all your work plans as well as other things to achieve that day or week. A workplan helps to keep you moving towards the goal while a to-do list holds a tally/list of all the things you need/want to do, such as “get out of bed and go to work”. A good workplan is just smart!
and who doesn’t want to be SMART? That alone should give you good reason to put your actions into a workplan. Begin with the end in mind!