You may have heard about the “Five Ps” or Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Aside from it making sense at face value, there is so much merit in this acronym that may not be obvious at first glance. Let’s look at what prior planning really does for high performance.
Every person has the same 24 hours in a day, and yet, some people manage to get a lot more out of their timeout of their time. So what is it that these people do differently? Well, they choose wisely what they will focus on for the day. More importantly, they choose what not to do.
And this is what prior planning does for you. It gives you the opportunity to think about what you will focus on for the day and to prioritise the activities that are of highest value to achieving your goals. When you focus on the activities of high value, your business grows.
The most successful business people know how to focus their efforts to ensure they get the largest reward for the smallest effort. If you don’t do this, you risk falling into doing what you naturally want or like to do – but this is not always what is going to make a significant difference in your business.
There is another hidden gem in the Five Ps acronym. When you take time to consider what you should be doing for the day, you’ll realise quickly what you don’t know. One of the biggest challenges for strategy execution after establishing your goal, is coming up with the necessary actions to help get you there. You might think this is the easy part, but I can tell you from my 20 years as a CEO it is not. So many managers and staff just don’t know what comes next.
So, the little gem I was talking about is visibility. As a manager you can quickly identify who in your team has the ability and skill to help you get where you want to go, and who in your team needs more coaching and support. As a manager it’s your job to coach and support your staff. This also includes helping them to plan and prioritise their day to ensure they are focussing on the highest value activities. Otherwise, they’ll end up keeping busy but not achieving the results you expect. Busy work often doesn’t translate into success.
I love the quote, “Today is not finished until tomorrow is planned.” I also live by it. If you plan tomorrow before today has ended, you’ll be able to leave work with a clear mind, which also allows you to spend quality time on your high-value personal activities. Planning and prioritising create a “win win” situation for your business and personal life.
That’s my tip for this week, get in the habit of planning tomorrow’s activities before you push away from your desk at the end of the day. You’ll start each day with much more clarity and purpose.