I don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse, but I constantly think of new ideas. I can load a full page in my Drafts iPhone app with ideas to consider or implement. There’s just one problem – like all of you, I have a limited amount of time. I can only do so much, and I need a way to focus my energy and time. As Michael Hyatt puts it, we all have to engage in calendar triage.
This is where business planning becomes so important. We all have more ideas than we have time or money. The key is finding the best ideas and executing them. Understanding your key objectives, strategies, and projects will help you know how to prioritize your calendar. There are hundreds of calendar and task management apps, but none of those apps can help you understand what to stop, what to continue, and what to contine.
The three key business planning questions to ask
- What should I stop doing? – This is the most important question your business planning helps you answer. If you are spending time on projects or strategies which will not achieve your objectives, why are you doing them? I spend every Sunday night looking over my business planning and my projects list. I use Nozbe to manage my projects and action steps with the Getting Things done methodology.
- What should I continue doing? – Much of what you do will cover a number of days or weeks. Your business planning will help you identify how you can improve the work you are doing on specific projects. When you have a strong plan in place, you will find the motivation to move forward and complete the right projects to make your business happen.
- What should I start doing? – Your vision and objectives will help you identify what happens next. I keep a running “someday/maybe” list of ideas and projects. As I complete and prioritize projects, I have a ready list of new ideas to use for the next projects.
My business coach constantly teaches me to identify my “stop, continue, and start” list. I take my business planning and turn it into a list of what I should execute for the future. I take my business planning very seriously, and I start with my planning to understand what I should do and, more importantly, what I should stop doing to make my business happen.
What is your “stop, continue, and start” list? Share your comments below!