Continue with the leadership workshop from 8/10/09 post — Results Orientation & Achievement, SMART plan. To be sure, SMART plan is nothing new to me, but it was amazing to observe how it was tried out here in class.
Two major problems came up during the experiment:
(1) The SMART plan was not well laid out in the first place. Nearly all present, except me, did not know how to write a SMART plan — Specific, Measurable, Agreeable-upon, Realistic and Time-bound.
(2) It is so easy to get disengaged from the original plan. It takes some discipline to religiously follow one’s plan. Yes, discipline is very much missing among people here. Otherwise, they would not be here at all.
The root of problem with most of people is their just-do-it attitude without a well-designed plan to follow, to verify and test the result to see if, in the end, we reach our goal and get what we specifically want. It is like driving out for a vacation without any planning. It runs against a Chinese saying — “Never engage in an unprepared war.” (bu da wu zhun bei zhi zhang) Imagine my frustration working with them. Alas, so much to learn just by observing these lovely people!
Workshop #6: Planning & Organizing Work, and time management tools. Sometimes we complain about lack of time, I think it very beneficial to use action-priority matrix to exam how we use our time –identifying Major Projects, Hard Slogs, Quick Wins, and Fill-Ins.
What often happens is we tend to spend more time on “Fill Ins” when we should be on “Major projects.” Once again, it takes some self-discipline to focus on “Critical activities” and to stay away from “Distractions.”
I have shared these time management tools with my son who runs out of time all the time. I sincerely believe these tools are essential to manage time well.