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Mistakes You Make When Planning

Your Destination

Before you do any more detailed planning, before beginning to discuss or actually take action, determine what success would look like, what needs to be accomplished.

What will success look like? What problem are we trying to solve? What will be different when we are done?

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Mistakes You Make When Planning

Mistakes You Make When Planning

https://www.forbes.com/sites/annlatham/2017/11/26/3-mistakes-you-make-when-planning/

forbes.com

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Key Ideas

Your Destination

Before you do any more detailed planning, before beginning to discuss or actually take action, determine what success would look like, what needs to be accomplished.

What will success look like? What problem are we trying to solve? What will be different when we are done?

Your Roadmap

Write down the big picture Roadmap (the various dimensions of the project) so important components will not be forgotten and unnecessary steps will be eliminated.

You will be able to work backward from the destination, review your objectives, and debate various approaches before getting bogged down in the detailed steps. 

Taking Action

Identify the tasks that must be accomplished. You need to know: what, who, when, how and how well.

The most common mistake here is stopping with the What and Who. 

Warnings

Ask the important question: What might go wrong?

Most plans fail and the reasons for those failures are not usually all that surprising. The problem is that few people stop to ask what could go wrong.

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3 areas of life to clarify

You need to have absolute clarity over 3 fundamental facts:

  • Your goals (the destination)
  • Your current situation (your coordinates)
  • The path that connects both of them (the route).

A very simple, but crucial principle: if you don’t know where you are, you can never reach the place where you want to be.

The world of the status quo bias

Making an alternative choice is hard because we are neurologically wired to favor the default solution, even if it brings suboptimal results.

As the complexity of a decision increases, so does our tendency to stick with the answer we know.

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To switch careers effectively
... and achieve a positive outcome, you need 4 things: clarity, courage, confidence, and competence.

Without these, you’ll most likely struggle hard and fail.  

“The Pendulum Effect”

Don't run from your career because you've broken down in it. Running away will not solve your problems – they’ll just be repeated in the next career.

Make your situation better by repairing broken relationships, finding your voice, growing out skills, and becoming more competent. Then, when you do leave, you’ll be able to achieve the next level of success.

Develop a financial plan

... that will support your transition.

Do solid research and explore your desired change with your accountant and financial consultant and experts in that career, to understand clearly, without emotion, the financial requirements necessary to support you through what can be years of transition. If there’s no money available, wait until you can access some.

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What Time Management Is

Time is our precious resource. It is perishable, it is irreplaceable, and it cannot be saved. It can only be reallocated from activities of lower value to activities of higher value.

...

Eat That Frog!

Your “frog” is your most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.

If you have two important tasks, start your day with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Focus on completing it before you go to the next one.

Failure to execute

We tend to confuse activity with accomplishment: we attend endless meetings and make plans, but at the end of the day, no one does the job and gets the results required.

“Failure to execute” is among the biggest problems in organizations today.

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Early Mistakes, Late Start & Future Hurdles.

Savings and investments should be part of a monthly budget even when young or just starting a career.

You cannot save enough if you are waiting until your late 30's before...

Myth vs. Reality in Retirement Planning
  • I’m not that old:  It’s not about NOW but saving for your old days when you can no longer work full time. 
  • I’ll wait for a lump sum is just an excuse to postpone planning or procrastinate.
  • Assumed Family/External Support: It’s better to be prepared for eventualities and have contingency funds in hand.
  • Financial Requirements Decrease: Medical costs increase with age. Inflation and other factors might also come into play.
  • I will not live that long or I won’t retire: People tend to live longer, but they will suffer from medical ailments.
Retirement Goals

To have a secure and financially independent retired life during your golden years with regular post retirement income, a corpus of savings/investments and a safe shelter or home.

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Write Everything Down

When you suddenly have an idea while you are in the middle of something else, write it down. It will clear your mind. It is a catch-all for the light bulb moments.

Financial Awareness

Know exactly where you spend your money. Create a system for tracking profit and loss, and returns on investment. 

De-clutter

De-clutter your work and living space. It encourages a de-cluttered mind.

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Memory And The Brain

Memory is the brain’s way of integrating sensory-motor information into a symbolic representation that allows prediction of future occurrences. To better memorize it’s important to engage wi...

Connect & Link (The Link Method)

This memorization technique involves creating associations between items in a list and assigning images to each connection to help you memorize better. 

For instance, your accounting exam is tomorrow and you need to memorize which items fall under the Current Asset section of a balance sheet (Cash, Inventories, Accounts receivable, Prepaid expenses).

Make a Story (The Story Method)

This approach is really similar to the Link Method. While you create a bunch of different images between each two items using the Link Method, you combine everything into one big picture with the Story Method. This technique helps you memorize the sequence of the images and hence the order of the items. 

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Organizing our Lives

We all are juggling life's important areas: work, office, home, health and fitness, our finances and relationships.

It is not easy to juggle so many things all at once, and some areas may get...

Developing Habits

We all have habits ingrained in our lives. Most of our good habits (if any) take us to eventual long-term success, and our bad habits take our time, health, happiness and money. Make a list of what all you do as a habit daily and see which ones are good and which ones are not.

Habits like spending hours on social media, binge shopping, and lying on the couch are a few examples of bad habits.

Planning Ahead

Life is unpredictable, but planning is still important. Use your phone's calendar and to-do list, or install an app to create daily and weekly plans:

  • Plan even for small errands.
  • Keep in mind that things take longer than you expect.
  • Block chunks of time, or an entire day for a task.

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To-Do Lists

Your to-do list can be a tool that guides you through your work, or it can be a big fat pillar of undone time bombs taunting you and your unproductive inadequacy.

If the instructions are c...

The two modes
At any point during the workday, you are in one of these modes:
  • When a project or task comes up, the steps you need to take start to form in your mind. Now you're in thinking/Boss mode. 
  • Your to-do list is a collection of those orders, which your Assistant personality will later pick up and do.
Write down the instructions in such a way that your Assistant self can just do them without having to think - or stress. 
Put Items That You're Definitely Doing

Instead of letting tasks you're not quite committed to loiter on your to-do list until you're sick of looking at them, move them off to a separate list, a holding area for Someday/Maybe items. 

Only concrete actions you're committed to completing should live on your to-do list.

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Uncertainty of Social Security and Pension Benefits
  • The aging population is causing fewer contributors.
  • More people are retiring due to increased longevity.
  • Corporate col...
Unforeseen Medical Expenses

Old age typically brings medical problems and increased healthcare expenses.

Living out your retirement years in comfort while also covering your medical expenses may turn out to be a burden too large to bear.

Estate Planning

Without a well-planned retirement nest egg, you may be forced to liquidate your assets in order to cover your expenses during your retirement years.

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Confidence comes after you start, not before

Confidence is helpful, but comes after starting. To the procrastinator, a task feels dangerous - it’s when he could be exposed as a fraud. So before starting, he looks for more assur...

Start one step at a time

The longer and dustier your to-do list gets, the more it seems like a hopeless tangle.

But it’s a mirage, created when you try to map out everything in your head without actually doing anything. The whole list looks different the moment you knock off one tough thing.

Don’t just work on something. Finish it

If you just work on something you will feel a sense of progress without actually accomplishing anything. 

If you can’t answer the question “What are you trying to finish right now?” then you’re probably making the task bigger. 

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