Why is it when crunch times are upon us, the first place we 'find time' is in planning? We say, ‘let’s simply reduce planning time and get straight to ‘doing’’.
This is just like saying to your child or partner, ’I don’t have time to listen to you, honey’ when it’s the one thing you should do in that moment. It’s the classic quadrant II activity from Dr Covey’s important/urgent framework: do the important things now (quadrant II), to prevent them from becoming urgent (quadrant I) later.
If you find yourself putting out fires all the time - dealing with things that are both important and urgent - what Dr Covey has identified and proven with solid research, is that if you spend more time in quadrant II, you’ll have less fires.
Scenario 1: No planning Scenario 2: With Planning
Reactive: loss of control Proactive: ‘in control’
Execution is compromised Confident execution
Delivery comes down to chance Delivery is assured: your focus is
Which do you prefer?
Crunch time keys
• Planning provides clarity and prevents chaos.
• Planning needs planning, otherwise it loses its potency and becomes inefficient and ineffective.
• Having a plan isn’t the same as planning: planning is a collaborative activity
Planning is a critical step during crunch times. It’s what sets you up to deliver to deadlines without killing your people.
About Alena: Alena works with leaders and their teams to connect technical and leadership skills so they can deliver to deadline without killing their people. She is a mentor, trainer, facilitator and coach. Contact her today on firstname.lastname@example.org
 Dr Stephen R Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, p151