Whether you’re doing projects, work at your corporate job or even your retail job, or doing stuff at school for your educational fun and awesomeness, it is very important to learn how to plan for and at least take a real good guess at what could happen so you have the resources you need available to minimize the risk.
Basically that’s what it boils down to. You’re planning ahead so you can minimize the risk to the time you use, the money you use, the opportunities that you’re giving up to focus on whatever it is you’re doing.
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Three things you need to pay attention to in order to learn to plan ahead. This is a high-level planning 101 approach but it’s a good place to start.
1) You have to have an end goal in mind. In other words, what do you envision success looking like for whatever it is you’re doing and focusing on? Turn that into a one or two sentence quick blurb about what your goals are overall for your project or your approach and boom, you’ve got that down. Sounds easy but it does require a little bit of thinking and erasing and rewriting.
2) Think about what resources and steps you’ll need to get there, at least what you can imagine would be needed given that you probably haven’t done this before. This is a nominal needs list of items that you think would be reasonably necessary to go from where you’re at now, Point A, to where you need to go, Point B. This could be the money you need, the tools you need, the people you need to get with and the skills you need to learn, etc.
3) Lastly, it is your contingency plans. First of all, what are the biggest things that could go wrong? Then, what could you do if they do happen? Along with one or two ideas of what you could do now to prepare for those and maybe even prevent them.
It’s a forward-looking-to-backwards approach of planning ahead and that is having your end goal in mind so you know where to aim because if you pull back on that bow and arrow and you start shooting arrows everywhere, you’re never going to hit the target except by sheer luck. Figure out what steps you need to go so you can take the first one and make sure you have the right tools for it and then figure out how to fix what happens along the way.
This is what you need to learn to plan ahead. It sounds really simple, it’s going to require some practice and a little bit of pen and paper and elbow grease, but give it some good focused attention and it’ll become second nature. The world just gets a little bit easier when you have a plan.
Give it a shot. Good luck and peace out.