Fail To Plan And You Plan To Fail

You have all heard this phrase a lot, I’m sure.  If you fail to plan you plan to fail.  What does it mean though?  Well, for me it means if  don’t spend some time thinking about my business and making decisions on key aspects of it I will indeed fail.  I like to make a list, it’s a running list of tasks that need to be completed.  As things come up that I need to do I add it to the list.  The list doesn’t get emptied (oh, if only there were that few things to do!) but I re-write it from time to time as it gets big and messy with lots of ticks and crossing out when I complete things or they change to something else.  For example, I have an idea and I add it to the list, but the next day I might re-think the idea and it changes a bit, so the list has to be altered, so it is a very active list for sure!

Each day I add more things to the list and each night I think for a while and add anything to the list that I need to do the next day.  I do prioritise the list.  This usually involves me putting big stars alongside important items or ‘must do tomorrow’ items – another way it becomes messy!

I love my list, I love the big messy nature of it.  It is always written, never typed.  It sits on my desk in front of me so I can always check it to see what I have not completed yet.  And it stares at me as if saying ‘look at me, you have things to do – get off Facebook’!!!

How do you plan?  Do you have a list?  Is it an active list that’s big and messy like mine or is it neat and tidy, or maybe your ‘to do’ things aren’t on the same list, maybe you have several.  However you tackle planning make sure you do it and then give the tasks a go, it’s simply the best way to move forward.

Enjoy the journey!


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  1. Hi Mandy,
    I like the idea of keeping every ideas and plan as a list. It is indeed a good practice and it will be a good method of planning.
    I like planning by developing a schedule or timetable. I divide my time and days for a particular task, stick notes on my calendar to remind myself.
    Enjoy the journey as well….
    Ugyen Dorji recently posted..How to earn from Facebook.My Profile

    1. Hi Ugyen thanks for visiting. I like to hand write my list, partly because I can always have it on the desk in front of me and partly because I really like handwriting and ticking off items. I find it hard to keep referring to computer stored task lists, especially when I have another programme open and have to swap between the two.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  2. Hi Mandy,

    I don’t know what I would do without a list! It always starts off big and messy, but then I put it all in order. Call it OCD but I cannot concentrate unless things are orderly.

    The messy part is sort of a free-flowing ideas I get. But putting them in order and checking things off is a wonderful feeling.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..3 Crazy Simple Ways To Become A Successful Blogger | Interview With Marquita HeraldMy Profile

    1. Hi Donna, thanks for visiting. Oh I agree, it is such a satisfying feeling when you re-order the list and suddenly it is all neat and tidy again. Mine don’t stay like that for very long as I am constantly working on them and they change very quickly!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  3. Hey Mandy,

    It’s a famous quote and many people are there who are still trying to figure out the meaning.

    As you have mentioned above that if we don’t make the plans for our business then we would fail.

    Everything in our life is connected and if you don’t work hard enough to beat the problems then we will fail.

    Thanks for the motivation.
    Ravi Chahar recently posted..How To Become A Professional Blogger In Today’s Blogosphere?My Profile

    1. Hi Ravi, thanks for visiting. Planning does indeed help us to prepare for the problems we might face. I think a plan is essential otherwise you won’t know where you are headed.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  4. Hi Mandy, My first time here, love the look of your very clean looking blog.
    I need to make a list for myself again. I was just thinking that yesterday as I’ve added more places I need to network and share on. But at the top of that list I need to work on my eBook and revising some old posts. Thanks for the reminder on the importance of having a list to get things done. It can really make a difference as I’ve gotten away from it.
    Lisa Sicard recently posted..What Happened To Blogging and Having A Great Blog?My Profile

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for visiting. Lists are great for keeping you on track and making sure you are heading in the right direction. Give yourself some small tasks on it so you get those ticks to mark things off that are accomplished – makes you feel good. And give yourself a reward when you get things done!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  5. Hi Mandy,

    I suppose the nearest thing I get to a list is my Google calendar – which has the virtue that it’s easy to move jobs to the next day!

    Because I’m still very much at the beck and call of offline business clients I tend to be reactive rather than proactive. If they call, I drop everything 🙂

    But I make sure I do something related to my online business every day.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    1. Hi Joy, thanks for visiting. I agree about offline businesses. I have a shop and can be called at any time, as and when I am needed, so I also tend to be reactive, but my list keeps me focused on the tasks needed to be achieved in any one day, which is very helpful. I can see what I can do in the in between bits of time very easily. That’s why I also like to break things down into small tasks, they can be slotted in to a spare moment.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  6. I keep the ongoing to do list, but find I achieve more when I set a schedule in my e-calendar and stick to it. Milestones and big goals are more apt to be hit with Target Dates in front of my eyeballs!
    RoseMary Griffith recently posted..At Frick Park Enjoy Sedate Strolls or Hard HikesMy Profile

    1. Hi RoseMary, thanks for visiting. I agree entirely, daily goals are really important, to do lists that you can actively work on and complete items to see your progress are great. We need to have a plan and map out where and how we are taking our journey.

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  7. Whether you are just starting a business or you have been in business for years, one of the greatest keys to success is having a plan. Seriously, having a successful and profitable business isn’t rocket science but it does require a plan.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..How to Create a Successful BusinessMy Profile

    1. Hi Rachel, thanks for visiting. I totally agree, if you don’t have a plan how do you know where you are heading or how you will get there?

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  8. I like the idea of a list. But honestly I operate with a folder, where all my ideas are. I don’t have a biz like you guys. I like to blog and I like natural organic products. So, maybe I should make a list of more focused. Log ideas as presently I am multi-niched….lol.
    I admire your focus,and persistance
    Paula recently posted..Steel Gray Clouds and Choppy Gray WatersMy Profile

    1. Hi Paula, thanks for visiting. A folder sounds good, I like the list because I break the tasks down into small, achievable items that I can do quickly and easily.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  9. Hi Mandy,

    So funny you have wrote this. My post this week is about planning and what you can get done in a short space of time. I have to handwrite my list every day. I do it at the end of the dat. Ready for the day ahead.

    I have a specific way of doing it which means I only put pressure on myself to do 3 meaningful things. Anything I happen to cross off my list in a day is a bonus.

    Beth 🙂
    Beth Hewitt recently posted..Time Management and BloggersMy Profile

    1. Hi Beth, thanks for visiting. If you make your tasks small you can get a lot done very quickly. I love little tasks, easily achieved, then I have a list of big ticks and I feel a reward coming on! The reward is the best bit!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  10. Oh, you are probably speaking directly to me, the Queen of List Making, lol! I go through a lot of notebooks. Like you, I do revise quite often.

    I think my biggest and most productive task list, however, is in Outlook. I truly count on it to keep my business and personal life on track. Because I’m so into nature as well, I have a nature calendar there where I record various bird sightings and other wildlife, as well as when various garden plants bloom or don’t do well.

    What do people do that don’t create lists? I’m sure they must forget things or get confused more than I do. 🙂

    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted..Keep Experimenting And Trying New ThingsMy Profile

    1. Hi Deborah, thanks for visiting. Notebooks, what a great idea! I tend to use sheets of paper but if I had a notebook I could see the progress. The sheets get thrown out when I have written a new list. I like that idea, thanks for sharing!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  11. Hi Mandy

    You got it although I say it the other way around Most people don’t PLAN to fail they just fail to plan!

    I have to have a written plan in front of me like you than I can check things off or add to them,

    Without my list nothing happens

    To great success

    Mary Sloane recently posted..Feel Like Your Dollar/Your Currency is Not Going as Far as it Once Did?My Profile

    1. Hi Mary, thanks for visiting. Great reversal of that saying! I like it. I love my written list, and having it in front of you means you can use it all the time. Success to you too!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  12. Hi Mandy,

    Big old messy list, huh? I think of you as a ‘doer’ so that’s not surprising.

    I’d get little of consequence done without my daily list of 3. Handwritten, of course. I aiso have a long term list that’s probably more of goals blueprint.

    Enjoyed your post. Have a great week.

    Edward Thorpe recently posted..10 Benefits From Spending Time By YourselfMy Profile

    1. Hi Edward, thanks for visiting. A goals blueprint, that’s a great phrase, I like it! I love my handwritten list, and having in front of me means I can refer to it constantly.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  13. Hi Mandy,

    I read this somewhere – “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”

    Nice reminder for everyone to have a prioritized list. I use Evernote to maintain my to-do-list – it is simply awesome – voice memos, pictures, typed notes, business cards – everything can be stored a note. Evernote allows you to do a search on your notes – which is extremely handy. Check it out, you might like it.

    Michael recently posted..Evernote ReviewMy Profile

    1. Hi Michael, thanks for visiting. Another great saying. My prioritising happens either when I re-write the list or by putting big stars next to items! I read in another comment about keeping the list in a notebook, which I think is good too as you can always see your progress. Mostly I throw the old list away.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  14. Hi Mandy,

    Every time you came up with something that is thought-provoking. In my case, I can say that I sometimes plan everything in order before I do execute it. But some days make to too lazy to make a plan for the things to be done on that day. Even when I plan things, the only way I do it is by making a list of things to be done on that particular day and then do it in the order of priority.

    Once again thanks for the great share.

    Best regards.

    Reji Stephenson
    Reji recently posted..Power packed content writing tips for bloggersMy Profile

    1. Hi Reji, thanks for visiting. I usually try to complete tasks in order but sometimes a task throws up a few more that need to be done, so they go on the list and often get done before the rest of the list. I guess as long as you are completing as many tasks as you can that’s a good thing, and having a list just keeps you focused and moving in the right direction instead of being distracted and random.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  15. I’d be lost without my lists! Being a Type A means I’m forever working to keep my busy mind focused. I have my annual goals, which are broken down into months and then into weeks. From that, I use the Microsoft digital sticky notes to post my daily priority list on my computer screen. Like you, at the end of each day, I review and prepare for the next day. At the end of each month, I take a “planning” day to review what did/didn’t work in the current month and update my goals in preparation for the new month. I also take some time to celebrate even little accomplishments and milestones in my progress, otherwise, it’s too easy to let the days blur together. This probably sounds over the top for most people, but it works for me and that’s all that matters. 🙂
    Marquita Herald recently posted..How to Build Your Capacity to Manage AdversityMy Profile

    1. Hi Marquita, thanks for visiting. I agree, I’d be lost without the lists too! I’d forget something terribly important, or something not so important but essential to the success of things! I love ticking things off and then re-organising the list with what’s left plus other things that have come up. It’s part of my daily schedule!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  16. Mandy, I have to plan out everything I have a notebook for this and a notebook for that. I just started using Evernote to help me keep my plans organized and easier to find. Thanks for this post.
    Lydia Brown recently posted..4 Facts About Underage Drinking and School HealthMy Profile

    1. Hi Lydia, thanks for visiting. Notebooks, someone else mentioned that in another comment, what a great idea, I must get some!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  17. Hi Mandy ,
    I have to say I do not like to do lists and I always was able to do my task without a list. Even without it ,often people asked me how I can do all the work. I could always accomplish what was needed without a list .
    I am sure I am not the only one.But I can imagine those people who are in a stressful environment get distracted and need a list.
    Thank you
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted..Tips To Improve Yourself By Changing Your ParadigmsMy Profile

    1. Hi Erika, thanks for visiting. Good for you! For some of us things would get forgotten without a list, so well done!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  18. Hi Mandy, Wonderful post..different people different ways…few make lists few don’t but it is really important that we need to realise where we stuck and wasting important hours of our life.. Thanks for sharing

    1. Hi Sazia, thanks for visiting. You are right, different people do things in different ways. s you will read from the comments here some make lists, others don’t. Whatever works for you is the best way, but certainly we must all have a plan, not having one is a recipe for disaster.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  19. Hey Mandy! Awesome advice my friend! Without a plan you have NO Idea where you are going..
    Great Share
    Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Are Negative Influences Affecting Your Online Business?My Profile

    1. Hi Chery, thanks for visiting. I agree, in order to get where I am going I need a plan and I need steps to get there, clearly defined and easy to work through.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  20. Hi Mandy, Great subject!
    I could not function without a plan.
    I print out a weekly calendar with certain weekly tasks.
    I add PAC activities that come up along with any webinars or training that I am involved with. I like little boxes that I can tick off when completed. Every end of the month I have a planning day that I try and take some time to evaluate where I am this month and what I want to do next month. I save these calendars with scribbled notes on both sides of the paper in a big box beside my computer for easy access.

    1. Hi Kathryn, thanks for visiting. I imagine that lists become so much more important when you have so very much to keep track of all the time! You are so busy I admire the amount of work and effort you put it. I bet there’s lots of ticks in your boxes too!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  21. Hi Mandy

    Indeed never planing is so dangerous. The opportunities that are abound appear to those who are prepared which is why I do agree that with you that creating lists are essential. Thanks for sharing. Take Care

    1. Hi Ikechi, thanks for visiting. I love my lists. There is such a wealth of ideas that flow once I start making a list on a topic. I guess some of that is from all the brain storming I did as an active youth worker.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Fail To Plan And You Plan To FailMy Profile

  22. Hi Mandy
    I used to make a do to list years ago and found it really effective. I’m not quite sure why I stopped doing them though, after reading your post I think I’ll start using them again

    Thanks for the inspire

    1. Hi Kim, thanks for visiting. It’s one of those things that you can get out of the habit of doing. I’m glad you have been inspired to give it another go, and as I said earlier in a comment reply, if it works for you that’s great, if it doesn’t there was no harm in trying!

      Enjoy the journey!

  23. Hi Mandy, I’m working on that right now, as a matter of fact. I have ADD, and it’s easy for me to run around in circles and get nothing done.

    I’m working on a productivity course right now that starts with yearly goals, broken down to quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals. Right now I’m laying it out in a Word table, but eventually I want to transfer it over to an app I recently came across called TickTick.

    I can’t keep things on paper – I just don’t look at them again. I keep everything on my laptop and things are getting done in a more timely manner.

    Also, I use a timer as I do tasks so that I don’t get stuck on any one thing. That is the best device for keeping me moving forward – IF I remember to set it before starting the next task!
    DeeDee Lynn recently posted..Why marriage is the tie that binds families togetherMy Profile

    1. Hi DeeDee, thanks for visiting. Contrary to your experience I am a procrastinator so I run around doing nothing because I put everything off rather than over doing everything! I have to have a plan and work to it or I simply do not get things done at all!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..What Should I Blog About?My Profile

  24. I get disheartened when I make a list with items I don’t complete so I stick to what’s the most important. Because I tend not to remember to look at written lists I use a program called Active Desktop Calendar which pops up reminders. I couldn’t live without it 🙂
    Sue Bride recently posted..How To Be A More Creative BloggerMy Profile

    1. Hi Sue, thanks for visiting. That’s a good idea, get the priorities right. I don’t mind not ticking some things off as I have a rolling list that is constantly being increased and changed anyway. I must look into some of these programmes people say they use. I’ll add yours to the list!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Time Out!My Profile

  25. Oh my, I’m such a list person as well! My hubby has laughed at me about all the notebooks and notepads I own – different ones for different topics. I’m glad to read about someone else who is “messy” and not exactly meticulous about her lists! 🙂

    1. Hi Karen, thanks for visiting. Ha! I love my messy lists! I too have many notebooks and for different things! People can laugh but we will always know what we are doing with our lists!

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Time Out!My Profile

  26. Hi Mandy ….. Awesome topics !

    i agree with you.

    Without hard work no one can reach his/her goal.

    Your post is very very inspirational .
    Thanks a lot for this amazing post !

  27. Hi….! I always plan to create a blog so i can earn some money from that but i can’t create a blog such like that i can get more visitor or traffic to my blog. it will help me to plan how to manage the plan to your blogging.

  28. Thank you Mandy. Planning is important for every business and it is also important to review things as you go along. My business structure changed recently and I am going to review and make my list to follow the recent changes in my business struction. It is the first thing on my list for 2017. Planning keeps one on track with the direction they are going with their business.

    1. Hi Amaka, thanks for visiting. Yes, I agree, reviewing is an important part of planning, it helps us to focus in the right direction.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Time Out!My Profile

  29. Hi Mandy

    Planning helps in visualizing the future and acts based on it. The opportunities that are abound appear to those who are prepared. Every entity that has needs an online visibility should create a digital marketing plan of their own. Planning also helps in allocating budget to different work packages. A planned strategical approach helps in saving resources and time.

    1. Hi Nishant, thanks for visiting. Yes, preparation will help you to be ready for and fulfil opportunities.

      Enjoy the journey! recently posted..Time Out!My Profile

  30. I just plan it in my head and I wonder why it keep changing.I really should start make that list. Write and not typed.
    Azrol Boroi recently posted..Boroi Megaktifkan Defense MechanismMy Profile

    1. Hi Azrol, thanks for visiting. I like to hand write too. It seems to be more alive when I hand write something.

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