Do you plan enough?

If you’ve met me or us over the past 15 years we have probably bored you silly the amount of times that we have reiterated (and reiterated again) how important the planning process is as part of any project (or indeed any life step)!

When we say it is 70% of the overall project we really do mean it.

Since I was a wee lad, I’ve learned that planning beats, well, not planning. Here is why…

Spontaneity actually stems from good planning.

Hear me out here. You may think that you would love for your life to be spontaneous all the time, reacting to whatever is happening on any given hour of any given day. Spontaneity is where excitement stems from and stops things becoming formulaic. However, the basis of it is a good plan. Not to plan the actual event, but to plan the rest of your life. To ensure that the 70% plan allows you to have 30% spontaneity and actually follow through on that thing you’ve always wanted to do, off-the-cuff but haven’t managed to get round to. You need structure to work from otherwise everything would be a whirlwind and you wouldn’t be able to get anything done.

You can change

So many people say to me, well I’m not a very good organiser so there obviously isn’t any hope for me. WRONG! Trust me I was the least organised person around 5 years ago. However, even though I thought living life on the unorganised edge was ‘exciting’ the truth is it was tiring, it was relentless and it let a lot of people down. It all came to a head when I quadruple booked myself on two days within 2 weeks! Quadruple booked! It meant that I didn’t make it to anything. I let so many people down (which leads me to my next point). What that taught me was actually my spontaneous life was out of control and I had to change things.

Don’t just say yes, have an electronic calendar.

Don’t just say yes to everything and make sure you have an electronic calendar that allows you to sync between phones. I can’t recommend this highly enough. You may love your paper calendar (or even worse your head) but honestly, if you want to live your life on ‘the edge’ then use this to allow yourself to do all the things you want to do.

Factor in planning to all your projects.

When it comes to projects this is our general rule of thumb. Planning is 70%, Production is 10% and Post is 20%. So when getting a  ’quick deadline’, consider the 70/10/20 rule. So many projects that we’ve worked on in the past, have had a huge rush through planning and pre-production to get straight onto production and then post-production. 20% pre 20% production and 60% post-production. This is when you get into ‘version fatigue’ or ‘blersions (bloated versions). If you are regularly used to version 10 and above on your deliveries then isn’t it time to make it stress-free and fun?

Remember it is up to you to take control. The more you do the better it works out and more spontaneous you can become. You just need to graft up front and everything else will come easy.

Let us know if you agree or what your planning techniques are?