I had a meeting last week with one of my close business partners. We outlined a new course we want to offer, who we wanted to offer it to, and even chose dates for all the classes.
We then did what you’re supposed to do. We took action on the spot and got what we saw as the first step out of the way: we wrote the basic sales copy for the event.
We then agreed on the next steps in the process and parted ways to get busy “making this happen.”
A week goes by…
Nothing else has gotten done. Why not?
Simple. Though we made a nice to-do list of all the items we need to get done, we missed a crucial step. One that could have derailed the entire project if we hadn’t caught it soon enough (we still had to postpone the classes by a week, but it was fixable).
What step did we miss?
We DIDN’T put deadlines on our actions
We assumed the action items would get done.
Then the inevitable happened… life got in the way… and nothing else got done.
Good intentions don’t get your projects done
Deadlines placed on each action get projects done.
Deadlines can be dates. Deadlines can be a time of day… or both! (I like deadlines like “by noon Tuesday” or “by close of business Friday” or “2:00 Monday!”)
Why? Because a definite deadline gives you a fixed point in time to take a specific action a concrete step toward your goal or outcome.
It might sound elementary but by golly, no matter how accomplished and competent you are, if you skip the basics, you won’t get the results you want.
By the way…
My partner and I have a meeting scheduled for Friday at noon to get deadlines set for our to-do list. Better late than never, right?
So the next time you have a project that’s not getting done, try these five steps:
- Break it down into concrete action steps
- Put them in order
- Decide who is doing which step
- Put a deadline on each action
- Git ‘er done!
Everything can be broken down to a formula. Success is something anyone can achieve. It’s just about doing the right things in the right order.