Rules 22: Know what you want short term

Industrialist and younger brother to Billionaire Aliko  Dangote, Alhaji Sani Dantata

short is short term?  That’s entirely up
to you.  I have three short-term plans on
the go – this month, this year, five years. 
This seems to provide me with sufficient information to plan my work
load.  It also allows me to work in, in
the short term, plans that affect my family. 
I can allow for holidays, changes of school, garden/house projects and
birthdays, Christmas, that sort of thing.
one month short-term plan should obviously list current work projects –
deadlines, prioritized tasks, basic routines. 
This is for work actually being carried out. 

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one year plan should have projects which are being formulated, planned,
presented, whatever.  This is for work
being planned rather than executed.
five year plan should be for ideas, dreams, goals, wishes, wants; it is for
work you intend executing one day.
long-term plan will have a career path built into it.  Your five year plan will take into it any
steps you need to carry out that long-term plan.

“All plans should
include practical steps to put into action and make them happen.  Otherwise they aren’t ‘plans’ but vague

tend to keep three separate records for these three short term plans.  My one month plan is kept on a clipboard on
the desk.  It contains a single sheet
which lists boxes for deadlines, return phone calls, things to do.  I supposed it’s a bit like a calendar but
without daily entries.
one year plan lives on the wall.  It
isn’t a wall chart or year planner but again a single sheet with twelve
boxes.  In each box is a month with the
relevant info of what I want to do during that time.  It is what I want to do rather than what I
have to do.  It is a short-term plan not
a to-do list or a calendar or a work schedule. 
As I am freelance I have to generate work.  This work – being done during my one month
plan or being generated during my one year plan – is my bread and butter.  It is made up of projects I want to do and
projects I have to do.  The ones I have
to do are the bread and the ones I want to do are the butter – such as this
book which has been a delight to plan and write. 
five year plan is for my general direction – what sort of work do I want to be
doing over the next five years?  Your
short-term plan will include work you have to do, but it will be mainly for
work you want to do.  The shorter the
term the more likely it is to read like your work schedule and less like a wish
plans should include practical steps to put into action and make them
happen.  Otherwise they aren’t ‘plans’
but vague ideas.
any of these plans you have to build a contingency.  Someone phones you up with a project, you
can’t turn it down on the basis that it isn’t in your plan.  You have to be flexible.
 (Excerpts from THE RULES OF WORK by Richard Templer Read “How to study
the Promotion System”
from The Rules
tomorrow on Asabeafrika)

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