Select a key project for in-depth planning.
I often find it helpful to slip away from my office to focus on a major project that needs extra attention. A local coffee shop, for example, provides a creative environment where I can spend 60 to 90 minutes making a project come to life.
I go through through a five-step planning process given to me by David Allen, author of Getting Things Done. The five steps are:
- Define the purpose. Why am I doing this project anyway? What is the purpose?
- Envision the outcome. How will I know if I’ve achieve success? What will “wild success” look like?
- Brainstorm. What are all the possible and crazy ideas I can think of to get the project done successfully. (BTW, I’m a huge fan of mind mapping, a form of non-linear brainstorming.)
- Organize. What are the natural categories, priorities and sequence of ideas generated from the brainstorming?
- Determine next actions. Where do I start? What needs to be done next?
This idea was originally created as part of the Rejuvenation Project, a month-long challenge to find one actionable idea per day that could help me to 1) keep my batteries charged, 2) remain focused on career priorities and 3) rejuvenate the creative spirit.