5 Steps to Put a Plan into Action

Louise Attenborough, Chocolate Collective

Following on from our last blog, 10 Tips to Better Planning, hopefully you’ve dedicated some meaningful time to planning or at least have a date diarised to do so. Soon you’ll have a head full of ideas and post-it notes all over the place so the next obstacle you need to overcome is how to gather up all those ideas and actually implement them.

This can be where some of the best plans fail, as putting those big ideas into action can be daunting, time-consuming and fall by the way-side as the day-to-day workload piles up. So, take advantage of your January resolve and enthusiasm and follow our top tips for making it happen.

1.      Create a master to do list - this should already exist in a rough form of actions from your planning session but you need to convert this into a neat, legible and cohesive list so you can ditch all those post-it notes.

2.      If you didn’t break down your to do list into bite-size actions, now’s the time to do it. NOTHING will get done if the tasks seem overwhelming. So, if one of your plans is to start an e-newsletter, your list might look like this:

Sort database

  1. Export contacts

  2. Check permissions

  3. Cleanse database

Get set up on Mailchimp

  1. Open account

  2. Initial settings

  3. Create template

  4. Upload database

Map out content for the year

  1. Yearly idea planner

  2. Ideas for Jan

  3. Ideas for Feb

  4. Ideas for Mar

  5. Etc…

January e-newsletter

  1. Write content

  2. Source images

  3. Populate template

  4. Test/preview

  5. Schedule/Send

Review January performance

  1. View report

  2. Identify three key learnings

February e-newsletter

  1. And so on…

3. Consider using software such as Trello or Evernote to log your actions. It will enable you to view tasks and progress at a glance, on the move and is especially useful if you’re delegating to a colleague. It also stops your to do list getting lost at the back of a notebook in amongst other distracting notes.

4.      Review your action list weekly. Commit to tackling at least two or three of the smaller tasks each week.

5.      Check in monthly – dedicate a small amount of time each month to look at what you’ve achieved, cross it off the list and give yourself a pat on the back! If things didn’t go to plan, look at why that was and what you can do to ensure the following month is more successful.

And you’re on your way! Implementing a plan successfully is all about commitment and being structured in your approach. If that’s completely alien to you or you have done the master list and realised that even at a rate of 10-20 tasks per week you still won’t get through it, maybe it’s time to call in the bees!