Plan the Work and Work the Plan – by Nancy Zimmerman

In this time of digital sharing, there are all sorts of templates available for all of our work, if we choose to use them.  This is particularly beneficial if we are in an area of work where our job is a matter of filling in the blanks and securing specific information about a group of clients.  That, however does not always fit the modality of what we need if we are working on a larger project that includes others to help achieve our goals.  For those times, we need a plan.

Plans can take time to construct.  In constructing a plan, you need to take into account several factors which I will attempt to isolate as follows:

1.     What is the Ultimate Goal?

In deciding this, you are in essence putting the final result out there into the Universe,  You are telling the energy that manifests outcomes what you see as the desired outcome.  This works when you are very focused on every detail.  You cannot express a goal flippantly and haphazardly.  You must be detailed and express the outcome with intent to achieve it, knowing what you expect.  This is the way that we come to achieve goals.

2.  What are Stepping Stone Goals to get me that Ultimate Goal?

At this point, we begin defining those temporary, short-term goals that will help us accomplish that final goal.  How do we get from here to there?  When we see here as the perfect place to be right now, it makes the journey more easily accomplished.   It does not matter how many steps there are to get us to that goal.  We realize that all will be accomplished in good time with the proper plan.

As we identify our smaller goals, it enables us to focus on how many steps there will be to accomplishment.  Are there others we will need to enlist to help us achieve those larger goals?  Will there be others working with us?  If so, it will be necessary for them to be in on this stage of the planning.  Is the Ultimate Goal reflective of the goal of the team or group who is working to achieve it?

While this seems a bit simplistic to me, there are often those who simply consider what they want to accomplish, then take no steps to get themselves there.  They are much like the traveler who wants to go from the East Coast to the West Coast with no road map in their hands. If they go west long enough, they will eventually get there, but how much more efficient and timely would it be if they looked at a map and planned their journey day by day.

If we do not have definite goals in mind, we may never reach that degree of success we want to achieve.  I have a very dear friend I worked with and we both shared a desired goal.  I had in mind that we would outline the steps we needed to take,look at the time availability, then set out to accomplish our finished project.  He did not see that as something we needed to “waste time” on.  He had haphazard hours and I adjusted my schedule accordingly.  It worked, but it set us up for poor collaboration in the upcoming months and we are still floundering, a year later, to get the next leg of the project finished.  He has taken on other projects and his haphazard approach, I am sure will continue to plague him in his new efforts.  Meanwhile, there is an occasional reference to the work we still have to do, but no time assigned to our project.

Work like this can be very frustrating.  When you construct a plan, it becomes extremely necessary that the preliminary work is done in order for you to set up a precedent that will serve you effectively as you continue to work through the plan.

Once you have the plan, both short term and long term set down, it then is necessary to look at time frames.  Some of the work will take more time than others in most projects.  When I write a book, it takes longer to write the book than it does to have it edited and published.  That work is not mine, but I have to allow the time to have it done.  I begin on working to get the book cover done as I begin the book.  When I consider the time to get it edited, I get an approximation from the editor, then in my mind, I double it.  It has always taken about twice as long as an editor has quoted for me to get the finished work back.  They have other projects and I respect that, but I have found that when I allow for that extra time, I do not suffer the frustrations that I did with my first editing experience.  Allow in your planning that no matter who you work with, there will be glitches occur and plan for those.

This is rather like getting to your job in the morning, you have to allow for traffic, possible slowdowns due to accidents, etc.  Allow plenty of time if you are on the clock so that your project comes in well ahead of time.

As you plan the legs of your daily work, also you will need to allow that there may be times of travel or sickness that makes some of the participants unable to work.  Do you have your plan fixed to allow that during times like this, other work can be accomplished?  In my case, if I were not able to write, let’s say because I had a broken finger.  Are there other aspects of the project I could work on.  Perhaps it would be a time to discuss cover possibilities, or marketing possibilities with those people helping in those areas.  If a project is going to get finished in a timely fashion, you cannot just leave it to chance.  It needs to be part of the plan.

As I do this work for this article, I have put my current book on hold.  I am recovering from some surgery and my normal pace has been cut back sharply, but I am planning future projects and setting timelines and deciding who I will need to help me to get my next project off the ground.  It is a very productive time and I had planned for it, as my day of surgery approached.  In this way, I still feel extremely productive even though one project has slowed as another is getting fueled up for the future.

When you plan your work, then work your plan, you will achieve you goals in a reliable fashion.  The plan provides you the freedom to allow the end result to show up.  It is in this way that much is accomplished in this world.  If you have not planned before, now is the chance for you to begin, and much good luck in you accomplishments.

About author

This article was written by Nancy Zimmerman

Nancy opened a flagship line of self help books centered around the work necessary to achieve ones “Best Self.” The first in the series was “Embracing Your Best Self,” which focused on identifying the habits that keep us from being and doing our very best. In this book Nancy focused on her personal storyand how she was able to overcome personal set backs on her way to discovering that a life without failure was a live void of true self discovery. “If you truly wish to live, learn how to fail.” Her second book “Confronting Your Best Self” deals with how to keep from slipping back into old habits. The third book in the series, “Balancing Your Best Self”, was published in late 2015 and is the story of how to find ones Zen and maintaining your best self. “Great personal failure always pave the way to the abundance of great personal success.” In addition to writing for The Magic Happens Magazine, she is currently host of a show on TMH Radio called, "A Look at the Bright Side" with guests from around the world. She also hosts a local show in Anderson with the same title. She recently completed a learning based children's series of books, Sadie's Great Adventures, for children 3-8. Her current project is a new children's series under the umbrella, "Young Artist Series" offering high school artists the opportunity to add to their body of work. Learn more at her website,


No Comments

Leave your comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.