Wow! What a day! This has been one of those gloriously busy and quite frankly, incredibly exhausting days where every second of every minute of every hour, from sunrise to sundown, has been jam-packed with commitments. After attending back-to-back meetings, managing workers in my home, helping my children with their homework, shuttling the little ones to tennis and dancing, getting dinner on the table, doing laundry and more work (whew!), I am so tired that I can hardly put one foot in front of the other. It’s days like this I’m glad I’m a planner; otherwise I’d be hard-pressed to get everything done or even remember what I had committed to do in the first place.
Yes, I am one of those crazy people who make to-do lists every single day in an effort to manage my work and family commitments. Sometimes, my to-do lists even sprout their own secondary to-do lists, like a tree blooming in the springtime (although definitely not as pretty). And while I own an iPhone and utilize the electronic calendar to its fullest capability, planning out my day in a spiral-bound notebook I keep in my purse helps me to prioritize my activities and visually map-out what I need to do and how I need to do it. But to-do lists are really just one piece of the planning puzzle.
Planning is a necessity, both professionally and personally, to manage everything from our day-to-day responsibilities to our long-term goals. Without a plan, it’s easy to lose focus and steer off the path (and while the idea of four-wheeling in the woods may sound appealing for a little while, off-roading can get quite bumpy and may cause bruises to strange places…like our egos). Whether pulling together a personal to-do list or an overall account plan (see PAG for an example of putting this into practice), planning helps create a roadmap, you may end up taking a few detours along the way, but at least you’ve got directions to get back on course and accomplish your goals.