"Have you ever heard the story about the farmer who told his wife one morning that he was going out to plow the 'south forty'? He got off to an early start so he could oil the tractor. He needed more oil, so he went to the shop to get it. On the way to the shop, he noticed the pigs weren't fed. So he proceeded to the corncrib, where he found some sacks of feed. The sacks reminded him that his potatoes were sprouting. When he started for the potato pit, he passed the woodpile and remembered that his wife wanted wood in the house. As he picked up a few sticks, an ailing chicken passed by. He dropped the wood and reached for the chicken. When evening arrived, the frustrated farmer had not even gotten to the tractor, let alone to the field!"
By Stephen B. Douglas—Managing Yourself
That is how my day goes sometimes. I am sure that we have all found ourselves in a similar situation. We had a plan and to do something that was important or critical and we have had distractions: telephone calls, meetings, schedules rearranging our day, and emergency's. So, we never accomplish what we set out to do.
Have you ever had something that you always wanted to do and never find time to do it. Like learning another language, read a book, go to a seminar, or "lose weight". All of these things take time and self management.
Reflecting back in time, when my wife and I bought our second house we were not sure we could do it, however, we planned to do it and we were successful. We also planned to move to Upstate New York for a job that was offered to me. We didn't realize what housing would cost in the Albany area - major sticker shock! We followed through on our decision and had a successful move. My point is that we don't always know what the future holds. We do need to manage our situations personally, at home, and at work things change regularly. How we manage change is important.
Good leaders develop plans, but they also expect to make adjustments along the way. Rarely does any plan succeed without a bump or a glitch.
For many years the following acronym has helped leaders to think through their plans whenever a major challenge or opportunity approaches:
P— Predetermine your course of action.
L— Lay out you goals.
A— Adjust your Priorities.
N— Notify key personnel
A— Allow time for acceptance.
H— Head into action.
E— Expect problems.
A— Always point to your successes.
D— Daily review your progress.