Lately I’ve been running a lot on timelines.
When I was younger, this is something I never would have done. A self-proclaimed flower child of the 80s (yes, hippy and Motley Crue do somehow go hand in hand!), I spent most of my time not planning out my time, which led to strange situations: You know, when I should have been working at Shoney’s I was instead at a concert in Fort Lauderdale.
Fast forward to today, 20 (ahem) years later and here I am living a life guided by timelines.
In business, timelines make excellent companions. Honestly, I don’t know how I would ever tell whereI should be or where I am going if I didn’t have a timeline to guide me. In my marketing company I live for timelines. I know each job that I have and when each should be started, worked on and finished.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I have been working on a new company with a former client; yesterday I sat down and created a complete timeline for our project that spans up to one year.
Whether you are working for yourself or working for a company, timelines are an excellent way to keep track of where you are and where you want to be. A road map, if you will.
Some tips I’ve learned:
- Be realistic. If you can’t have your business plan written in one month, don’t say that you will. Make sure you can get done what you need to get done in the time allotted or you will only frustrate yourself.
- Keep tabs on your progress. Write the timeline down and then revisit it on a monthly basis to make sure you are where you are supposed to be. Also, sometimes we make plans and forget what those plans are, so to stay on track make sure you are looking through your timeline on a regular basis.
- Share the timeline with others. Whether you are partnering in a company, working for an employer or starting your own business, sharing your goals is a way to make sure you work toward them. If you have to share them with your spouse or family member; even if they are not involved in your company they can help you keep on track.
- Keep them visible. Print them out and put them somewhere that you can see them. Then mark them off as you get them done. Watching progress is often the best way to keep on progressing!