This month, I will be running my quarterly planning workshop.
90-day planning cycles were a game changer for me when I introduced them to my businesses.
The 90-day plan works best when you stay focused on the plan you built for those 90 days and avoid distraction.
To stay focused requires you to have a way to manage those great ideas you have, courses you learn about, opportunities to be explored, or other items that try to distract you or re-direct you from your goals.
My recommendation is to park it…
During your 90-day planning process, you work to figure out the most important goals for your business. Your goals are designed to move your business forward. Once your goals are written, you then create your 90-day map. You lay out what needs to be done to make that goal happen and when to do it, so you ensure success.
Those possible good ideas, like a recommendation for new software, an opportunity, or an idea for a new product, come across your desk; they can pull you away from your goals.
Consider possible new software. You will need to research it, demo it or take it for a test drive. Both take time—the time you allocate for your goals.
I want you to achieve success, so I always recommend that for the 90-days, you keep the distractions to a minimum and focus solely on those goals.
You often drop what we are doing to look at an idea or an opportunity or check out a recommendation because you know you will need to remember.
It would be best if you didn’t lose these ideas, opportunities, or recommendations. Instead, I want you to park them.
Create something that will allow you to capture/park the items and hold them until you can look at them.
I plan my week/day in a bullet journal. In my bullet journal, I will capture these ideas as they occur and list them out.
At the end of the month, I schedule a bit of time to review them. I’ll move them to my parking lot if they still seem attractive while doing the review. My parking lot is a list within an application I use to keep track of recurring activities and tasks. (CLICKUP)
When I do the monthly review, it is interesting that what I thought was important at the time doesn’t seem that important when I return to it.
My parking lot is full of ideas for products, marketing, client retention, business improvement, and more. What would go in your parking lot is up to you.
I use an application to store my ideas, but you can use a word document, a notebook, or even the note-pad on your phone.
Your parking lot is a way to sort and store the noise, shiny objects, and distractions during the quarter.
You could review your parking lot as you prepare for the next planning cycle.
Look at your parked items and determine if they should:
Shiney objects, once parked, seem to lose their shine. The parking lot allows you time to remember your priorities and objectively assess your ideas.
Do you see the power of the parking lot? It is a way to keep you focused on your goals but gives you a way to capture the good ideas, ensuring they will not be lost if you don’t look at them right now. It also gives you a “cooling” off period to assess and prioritize later.
My process works for me, and I recommend you try it and then tweak it to work for you. For example, take an idea and give it 15 minutes of review (make sure you set a timer, or you will suddenly wonder where 2 hours went), and if it passes your review, move it directly to the parking lot.
What do you think about the idea of a parking lot? Will you create one? Do you have one?
Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention. Dr. Steve Maraboli
Take action! An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention.
Stop your plans from collecting dust! Check out our Quarterly Planning Workshop
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