The Importance of Planning Ahead

I've been thinking a lot today about the importance of "preemptive-action" otherwise known as "planning ahead."

I'm currently working at my local Converse retail store to make money while I go through Praxis, and the store is undergoing inventory tonight. We've been prepping for tonight for weeks.

Why would we prepare weeks in advance for inventory?

Inventory is basically when a team scans every. single. item. in a store so that the store's inventory count is correct. As simple as it sounds, inventory is a tedious task.

We prepared in advance for inventory by:

  1. Going through every item in our store and making sure it had a scan-able SKU
  2. Making sure no items were stashed behind any fixture or something of the sort
  3. Ensuring everything was front facing, nothing was inaccessible.
  4. All tags from the clothing items were pulled out of the shirts, visible to the eye.
  5. Pre-count tags were placed around the store in an organized manner
  6. etc.

What's the importance of all of those tasks? If those actions weren't completed, the team who comes in to do the store's inventory would struggle to do their job and it would take longer than necessary. The point of preparing in advance is to make everyone's life easier and complete our goals to the best of our ability.

What's the importance of planning ahead for events?

This may be my own personal experience, but when I have a lot of stuff to get done, I feel very overwhelmed and I tend to feel like I'm just treading water. I feel like this because I didn't construct a plan, and I end up not doing whatever-it-is to the best of my ability. I made a blurry mental map, but I didn't concretize any action plans. When you actually make an action plan, you're able to see what needs to happen, and when those things don't happen you're able to shift your agenda around to remain on-schedule.

Here's the method that has always served me well!

1. Know Your Due Dates

Figure out what your deadlines are. What do you need to accomplish? Make a mental or a physical note of when your due date is so that you know what your timeline looks like.

2. Break Down Tasks into Bite Sizes

Once you have an idea of what your timeline is, you can begin to figure out what you need to do to meet that deadline. Every deadline requires action, ensure that you have daily actions to meet your deadline. It helps to construct weekly tasks/mini-deadlines, too!

3. Just do it

Do exactly that. Just do it. You've already constructed a plan, now all you have to do is stick to your plan and watch your goals unfold! It pays off, I promise.

I've planned my personal goals and work/career goals with success because of this method of planning ahead. I've conquered large, difficult goals by breaking it down into bite-sized tasks and just doing it. every. day.

My personal holy-grail-tool is a planner. I purchased a planner last year and never looked back. My planners allow me to have a structured visual layout that I can customize to fit my personal agenda(s.) I have a monthly overview, a weekly overview, and a daily overview which allows me to see what I need to do every day to reach my weekly and monthly goals.

It really helps me structure my life and get stuff done.

As my dad taught me: by the inch it's a cinch, by the mile it's a trial.

Lydia Weibel