TSP • @myTSPnet
90 days. It’s the Goldilocks zone to getting a project done. Not too short so that you don't give it the proper time and effort, and not too long so that you’re starting to put it off and lose interest. Instead of annual plans, a 90-day plan allows you to change direction before you’re too far down the rabbit hole. It serves as a deadline that can be used to track progress and make changes to the original plan of action if necessary.
90 days is a useful time period for personal productivity and a great creative motivator too. When you’re learning a new work tool, like graphic design or a new web language, it can feel daunting to accomplish the task on top of your workload. Set aside 30 minutes each morning or evening to study a lesson, take a class or read a chapter of your book to practice the skill without interrupting the rest of your day. You may find it difficult to set aside this time at first but after a few weeks, it will become a part of your daily routine. Keep reading to find out how to make the next 90 days your best 90 yet.
REVIEW AND REFLECT
The best place to start is to review your accomplishments. Look back at the previous 90 days. Did you accomplish the goals you set? Which goals do you want to prioritize for the next quarter? Think about what you would like to keep doing and what needs to change. What did you accomplish from last quarter? What is left to be done?
It’s important to have your goals written down in a place that you can see them every day. This keeps your bigger milestones top of mind when planning your daily tasks. Also, consider writing your goals in past tense to frame your mind and to-do list in a more positive manner.
YOUR 90-DAY PLAN = YOUR ANNUAL PLAN
Your 90 day plan should simply be an extension of your annual goals. Break down your bigger objectives into smaller tangible steps that you can check off to accomplish your plan. It’s important to note that not every category from your annual plan has to be included in your 90-day business plan. There may be different priorities for each quarter that should be reflected in your goals.
There are several questions to ask yourself when making your plan. Are you going to be taking any time off? Are you going to need to plan ahead for any holidays or events? Keep these items top of mind when you’re looking ahead to the upcoming months.
KEEP IT PERSONAL
Work-life balance is an essential component to creating and completing your 90-day plan successfully. In order to maintain a healthy balance, consider working your personal goals into your 90-day benchmarks. Physical goals, volunteer goals and spiritual goals can all be incorporated into your 90-day plan to ensure personal and professional happiness and achievement.
ONE STEP AT A TIME
Choose one project to focus on at a time to accomplish the goal at hand. When you are juggling more than three objectives, it can be easy to lose focus on what you need to be doing. By limiting the projects you focus on, you’re ensuring productivity and success during your 90 day period. If you want to be more productive, go all in one initiative that will move the needle of the business the most.
PRIORITIZE PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
Place an emphasis on your own personal development to keep you on top of your professional game. Whether that means taking a few days to attend a conference or blocking some time off on your calendar to do an online class, advancing your own personal skills will make you feel accomplished and motivated. You must work continually work to increase your knowledge in the field and learn new ways to help your clients to advance your mental capacity.
Goals without an action plan are simply a pipe dream. Be sure to break down all of your goals for the quarter into action items to make things more easily manageable. Don’t get too detailed in these steps or you will lose sight of the bigger picture. Add a deadline to each action item to be sure you’re staying on target. Put these action items into your calendar, planner or task management system to incorporate them into your daily to-dos.
It’s important to be able to see what you have accomplished so you can feel rewarded and motivated to keep chipping away at your 90-day plan. Track your progress in a spreadsheet, checklist or an app. Consider adding numeric goals to each task to have a metric understanding of your progress.
90 days. 2,160 hours. 129,600 minutes. That’s all the time you need to get that project that’s been sitting in the back of your mind out of your head and in front of your eyes.