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Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

27 Sep, 2008 McKell Naegle

I am a big believer in planning. As the image and caption above illustrate, it is important to take the time and effort to organize and plan activities to see optimal results.

I do not golf, but I do run marathons. I always seem to perform well through the first 20 miles—then the wheels fall off. I drop almost 2 minutes on average per mile through the last 6 miles. People pass me on my right and left; it seems I am running in sludge.

I attribute this to not having a scheduled regimen to help me understand what my body is doing and feeling, and then training specifically to help my body alter the ill effects I feel on the last leg of the marathon. I am not planning my work and then working my plan.

In business, this age-old maxim holds true as well.

Tom Landry, the legendary coach of the Dallas Cowboys (who I grew up idolizing) once said, “Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.”

I believe that wholeheartedly. For example, if you are a salesman you will be assigned an annual budget to hit. The dollar amount may seem overwhelming—an elephant you must eat. How do you go about achieving it? Break it down into monthly increments. Then, break the months to weeks. Then the weeks to days, days to hours, etc.

In essence . . . planning!

Find out out where the value-added activities are and concentrate on them. Achieve your annual budget over the course of many good hours (which become good days, weeks, and months). This is not a new concept; it is a true principle that if followed will yield results.

For success, first plan your work,


work your plan.

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