How To Develop An Action Plan: 3 Secrets To Be Effective and Productive
A few weeks ago, I explained how to achieve SMART Performance objectives. We have seen how all break down at different time horizons, namely the long term, medium term and short term.
You now know the outline of your project. I propose today to arrange your goals to create a real plan of action. This organizational system will allow you to advance step by step and serenely in the realization of your projects.
Why is it necessary to develop an action plan?
An action plan is an indispensable tool for anyone wishing to carry out large-scale projects over a period of time. It allows you to prioritize your goals.
Through the action plan, you will have access to a precise procedure to be followed with concrete steps.
The action plan will also bring you an overview of your project. It will prove to be a very useful tool when you feel a little lost in the midst of all the actions you have undertaken and you still have to do.
But, an action plan, it does not work out in any way. That is why I propose an effective method to develop your plan of action and improve the productivity of your tasks.
In this article, I give you my 3 secrets to building a working personal development plan of concrete, effective and productive.
Secret n #1: the action plan applies to the concrete objectives
I explained to you several times on this blog, you can only take action on concrete and precise objectives. Therefore, the action plan must contain only simple actions, on which you can act in the short term or the medium term.
For example, you want to change your career horizon and try your adventure abroad. This goal is rather a long term goal, as there are many steps to accomplish before leaving. One of the preliminary steps for any international project can be to perfect your English. Improving your English is a goal on which you can move directly into action. You break it down into sub-objectives, which are all steps to be taken in the coming months.
For example: registering for an English course on the Internet or locally, watching an original English-language film every week, planning a short trip to England to practice on the field, etc.
Again, an action plan effective and productive should understand that concrete action: short, simple steps.
Secret n # 2: Do not make the mistake of wanting to define everything precisely in its action plan
When we draw up an action plan, we sometimes tend to want to foresee everything, to be a precise maximum to be sure that we do not forget anything.
It’s a big mistake!
Simply because one can never quite predict. If you want to put everything on paper before you start, the risk is great that you never start.
Anticipating the main steps is paramount, but do not lose yourself in countless details. You can always add intermediate steps to your action plan if you consider that this or that action is not precise enough and in turn requires to be decomposed.
The second secret of a good action plan lies in its modularity. Be flexible about the unforeseen and confident enough to be sure that solutions will come as you go along.
The engineers speak of continuous improvement. This principle is to measure the progress of his project permanently to redirect and refine continuously its action plan.
Secret # 3: Use an Effective Strategy Definition Tool
To help you develop action plans to put an order in your goals and prioritize, I would recommend using the Freemind software.
Freemind is a tool of Mind Mapping free and free. I will write an article soon to explain the benefits of using Mind Mapping to define their own action plans. This is without a doubt the tool that has the most to change my way of thinking and designing my projects.
This mode of representation is much more powerful and more flexible than a simple table summarizing the actions to be taken. It helps break down easily a goal into sub-goals while keeping an overview of your project.
That is what is powerful: you have both the detail in front of you, your priorities, and an overall view.
This double perspective is really important. You work on a sub objective while keeping in mind where you are in your project and what purpose what you are doing is related. So you do not risk losing yourself in many lists of tasks that repeat or contradict each other.