Many of us are required to have a yearly plan (which most of us treat as a pro forma exercise). Many people use a daily or weekly list.
I recommend you create a 6 week plan. This is a powerful intermediate zone.
Simply list out the deliverables you want to finish in the next 6 weeks. Note that I said “deliverables”; saying “I will work on XYZ” is not sufficient. What will you deliver?
Why 6 weeks and not a month? Three reasons:
- Work seems to fall in 6 week patterns more than monthly patterns. 6 weeks is 1/2 a quarter. In management we are often either starting a quarter or closing a quarter.
- 6 weeks is long enough to get some serious work accomplished, but not so long you can procrastinate. You can develop a nice mix of smaller and larger deliverables across projects in 6 weeks.
- This forces you to pay attention to deadlines because 6 weeks is not a regular calendar pattern. I’m not sure why but it’s clearly better than monthly lists.
Give this a try. Write up your list of deliverables, and then share it with someone as a reference. Check yourself every 2-3 days to see how you are doing against your targets. I bet you’ll find that you got more done in that 6 weeks than in previous month lists!