I hope you noticed the Alliteration in that title, kitten. I’m quite proud of it.
I’m also pretty proud of how my #BrandPlan2015 month has gone so far.
I’ve managed to define my #GreatBigWhy, and hopefully convinced you to do so as well. I’ve used a quarterly Outcome-Strategy-Task worksheet (that you can use too) to figure out how to reach my biggest goal for 2015, that will support my GBW…and I’ve broken it down to SMART goal planning elements to make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic (and exciting!!) and Time-bound.
Woohoo! Done! Right?…Right?
Now, I have to get that planning from the paper to productivity. I need to make sure I actually follow through with all of my awesome plans. And I need to do it in a way that works for me and the way I like to work.
I’m a very visual person.
I need to see things, or I forget about them. I also need to feel like the things I see are clean, clear and FUN to look at. If something is out in the open (good), but cluttered or boring (not so good), I will probably ignore it just as powerfully as if it were stuffed in a drawer somewhere.
So how do I visually map out all of those goals – for the whole year – in a way that is both adorable and accessible?
Washi tape!! Of course.
Seriously. I used a mega roll of Washi tape and covered an entire wall of my office with my year-at-a-glance.
And I love it!
I’ve talked to you before about the Connecting the Gaps: Busy to Happy course I was in over the summer, so you won’t be surprised to see some recognizably awesome printable planning pages from that course as a part of my master-plan-masterpiece.
So how do we get from more Printables to every day Productivity?
Right! Yes. Let’s stay on track here.
So the fact that I need things to be cute, clear and uncluttered – BUT totally visible at all times – makes it hard to make a whole year’s worth of planning filter down into actual behaviour on the regular.
I am the Queen of good intentions…well…I would be the Queen, but I didn’t get around to filling out the application, because I misplaced it, or spilled coffee on it, or the cat ate it?
Point being: I really struggle with follow-through.
I am an IDEA MACHINE. I have all of the ideas, all of the time. This makes me a great consultant for others, because I can come up with super creative ways to attack problems or execute cool new plans for their businesses.
But it makes me not as awesome at following through with those plans in my own business. That’s probably why I’m always saying, “Do as I say! Not as I do!”
Get ready; I’m making one of those end-of-year proclamations.
NO MORE! I will stop being a Do-As-I-Say-er, and start being a Doer!
At least – I will make it easier for myself to follow through by making a pretty wall of visual plans, goals, outcomes and procedures, so I don’t misplace or forget my big plans.
And so I can’t let them live in the perfect wonderland of “Someday.”
And that should help.
So here is the basic How-to for my Wonderful Wall of…Wollow-through.
(Sorry…alliteration is my jam; it had to be done)
Ok! Let’s do it!
1. First, I figured out my GBW.
Yes, you have to go back and do it. Do it now!! It’s the most important part of BizPlanning you will undertake this year. Everything you do should support your Great Big Why.
2. Then, I did last week’s homework.
I outlined my major Biz-goal for 2015, Quarterly Outcomes that will get me there, and the strategies and tasks that will make those outcomes inevitable. Go do it. There’s a printable worksheet in it for ya!
3. Here’s where this week’s work comes in. I printed out 12 monthly planning sheets from the Busy to Happy resources that came with that course.
You can honestly just use Word or Pages to make these with your brand colours and fonts to have a very simple version – so long as it has these elements:
- The month has to be printed large and in charge at the top of the page.
- You need to have space for your Quarterly Outcome
- You need space for 3 Strategies to get there.
- You need space to write out all of the tasks that you need to undertake during that month to make each strategy work.
- It’d be helpful for you to have a space for notes and post-its and a nice space letting you know what is coming up the next month.
4. I did some math.
Actually, my 12 year old daughter got in there and did some math. It was cute, and she was pumped to show me how she learned to use a tape measure.
Hmm…I think she needs her own tape-measure…*writes note on the “Stocking Stuffer Ideas” post-it*
Focus! The math. Right.
I printed the monthly planners on 8 1/2 by 11 paper, because that’s easy, so Bri added up these numbers: (8.5 x 3) + 2. That made the width of one quarter’s worth of planners and a bit of space in between. Then, she added up the length: (11 x 4) + 4.
I used a high gloss brochure paper, so that the monthly planners stay crisp and nice all year.
5. We got out the WASHI!
We measured out a nice big square on my office wall and marked it off – with pencil! Then we used some reeeeeally cool washi tape to outline the box. This made a nicely defined and fun-looking spot for my planners to go.
I love using washi tape for this, because it won’t hurt the paint on my walls. I can take it down next year and no holes.
But it makes the year-at-a-glance feel permanent and clearly defined. It’s a cute little adhesive miracle.
6. Then, we put those planners to use!
I took out my quarterly goal planners and figured out exactly how each month would look within the 4 quarters. This took some thinking and head scratching and moving around of post-its, but I think I nailed down the first quarter.
I wrote those important Outcomes, Strategies and Tasks as neatly as I could – paying special attention to what tasks had to happen during each month.
I put the Outcomes and Strategies in the other Quarters, but I don’t think it will help me to have all of my ToDo lists for the whole year up there in any kind of permanent way.
I really think that your big Goal needs to be like an immovable mountain you are climbing, but the Strategies and Tasks you take to get there need to be flexible. Because life happens, Strategies sometimes don’t work and you need to be flexible to deal.
7. I added 2 more blocks with washi, to contain my future Post-its.
Because Post-its are my friends, and I need a neat way to corral them or they will escape and run amuck.
I made one for “Right-now-Reminders” like – pick up printer paper – along with a printed calendar for the month we’re currently in.
A larger rectangle lives under that one for me to put post-its of great quotes and tips I love – and for neat product or business ideas I come up with while folding towels or washing my hair…because new ideas will happen.
So what do you think?
Do you have a spare wall that you can turn into a year-at-a-glance planner? If you do, get to it! And take some pictures of the finished product. Or take pictures of your favourite way to keep your plans productive.
Tag me in them on Instagram (@writewithak) and hashtag them #BrandPlan2015. Then, explore and see if any other BizKittens have come up with genius planning hacks.
Come back next week for some accountability training…because we all need an outside push sometimes.