How to Plan your Quarter in 30 Minutes or LessApr 06, 2022
In this week’s blog post, I am going to walk you through my quarterly planning process. Which by the way, is something you can do in 30 minutes or less. If you are wondering how to plan your quarter efficiently and effectively, I've got you covered.
So often when I talk about business strategy or even project planning, I immediately get the feedback of, "OH, that is so hard." But the fact of the matter is that it is a simple process and so beneficial in reaching your long-term goals. You might not be used to doing it, but it is simple.
Why is Quarterly Planning so Important?
Before we dive into the quarterly planning process, let’s just revisit first why quarterly planning is so important:
- If you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there? You can say, "Hey, let’s take a vacation" as an example, but there are millions of places you could go. You have to narrow it down so you know where to focus. Maybe you want a relaxing vacation instead of an adventurous one, or better yet, an adults-only trip instead of going with your entire family, cousins, and all the kids. While this is a basic example, the quarterly planning process is truly a vacation planning strategy.
- Success is 80% strategy and 20% skill. (This is a quote by my favorite author Jim Rohn). Sure you know how to read, but when is your plan to read it? See the difference?
A vision without a strategy is just an illusion and more importantly, a quarterly plan helps you choose what to do but also what not to do. When setting your annual goals, knowing what steps you are taking daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly will ensure you are making small strides toward those big goals. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you achieve your long-term goals? One daily income-producing task at a time.
Quarterly planning is essentially mapping out the next 12 weeks of activities. To start every quarter, I like to simply set an intention and go in with an open mind.
- What do you truly want to achieve?
- If you could eliminate all obstacles and excuses, where will you be in three months?
First 10 Minutes
One of my favorite exercises to accomplish this is called the Be, Feel, Do, Have approach. Simply take five minutes and map out the following:
Be: Who do you want to be? A more present mother.
Feel: How do you want to feel? I want to feel more energized and less tired and overwhelmed.
Do: What do you want to accomplish? Maybe it is taking that vacation, or launching a course.
Have: How about a new house? A Hawaiian vacation?
Now, in the next five minutes, think about 1-2 tasks you can do in each one of these categories to take a step in the right direction.
As an example: In the BE category, we had be a more present mother. An example of something you could do would be to turn your phone off at 5 pm every M-F.
Let's do a business example. Let’s say in the “do" category for business (and p.s. You have multiple things you want to do), you want to launch a course this quarter. So what are 3-4 things (as in a mini-task list) you can do to actually launch a course? Maybe it is taking a course on launching a course (or taking the steps to keep your launch simple), outlining your course, and filming content for your course. Now you have an actual list of things to get done in this quarter. In 10 minutes.
"Holly, what do we do with the other 20 minutes?" I am so glad you asked. ;) See how easy and fun this is?
So just to recap, we asked ourselves a few questions about where we are at and where we want to go. Then we thought about where we want to be in 3 months (hello, long-term goals). Insert the Be, Feel, Do, Have exercise.
Next 10 Minutes
Now I want you to think about how this relates back to your 3, 5, and even 10-year goals. If you don’t have those annual goals, use 10 minutes to brainstorm them. Even though this is a quarterly planning process, it is crucial that you have long-term goals in place so that you are planning your quarter with tasks that will gain momentum down the road.
Do these activities move you in the right direction?
Does your list include business, personal growth, family, etc? Basically, all the buckets that fuel you.
Final 10 Minutes
And then finally the last 10 minutes of your quarterly planning process I want you to do two things:
- Break it out into monthly goals. So if you have 10 items to accomplish this quarter, what months are you going to do them? Break it out so it doesn't all have to happen at once.
- Write it on a calendar. You know I love our brand new spring planners (which ps. now have 5 weeks per month and a nice little bookmark to note your quarterly plan), but I also take it a step further and write it on a big wall calendar that I have in my office. This way the entire family knows the plan too. There are no surprises when mom is “launching” let’s say, which is a little busier, or when we are going on vacation. And the kids actually love seeing all the dates as it gives them something to look forward to.
Slow Down to Speed up
So this week, I want you to slow down. Slow down so you can speed up. And use this process to make sure you are working on the right things.
The Be Feel Do Have method is a super simple, easy way to plan for the next three months AND if you like how easy this is, it is all mapped out in our planner with some additional steps to make monthly planning and even weekly and daily planning even easier.
If you complete the be, feel, do have exercise, tag me on IG stories and let me know how it works for you!
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!