Written by Sean McPheat |
How often do you sit down and really plan ahead? Every day? Every week? Sometimes?
Planning ahead can really set you apart from other salespeople as it offers a glimpse of a created future. But there’s a way of planning that you may not have focused on before, and it will get you great results.
Most people tend to focus on planning forwards; that is, they make a to-do list of actions they need to take to reach their goals. However, seldom does this allow you to have a structured route, with items in the right order at the right time. And it always focuses on actions.
Planning backwards, on the other hand, provides the structure you need to help you get things done in the right order and the right time, as it focuses on results.
Steven Covey, of Seven Habits fame, speaks of ‘beginning with the end in mind’. And that’s what planning backwards allows you to do.
For example, let’s say you’ve got a specific goal to hit a target within one month.
Instead of looking forward at what you need to accomplish this week, the week after and so on, start with the target in mind and work backwards, dividing it into smaller goals.
Set milestones at strategic points in the month so that you know you’re on target.
These are your goals that you are focusing on.
When you’ve achieved these results, you can concentrate on going forward with specific actions. It helps you see the big picture, and the map you are using develops your motivation because you can see what you are needing to achieve before you set off on the route.
It creates a forward momentum towards results, allowing you to choose your actions and adapt if things aren’t going to plan. That navigation system in your mind will keep you on track as you concentrate on results rather than just actions.
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Originally published: 30 June, 2010