Annual Operating Plan

October is typically the month of annual planning at our firm, which I am sure is the case for most corporations.  As we were going through the SWOT analysis and where we are and where we go from here.. discussions, i had a thought to myself that I need an AOP for myself.  Every year, I just plunge into the year without a whole lot of plan for what the year should look like for me and how i would define success for myself and which aspect of my profession and me as a person requires more attention in this year compared to the others.  Well, I figured I would do that thinking aloud and plan my AOP here on my website.  No pressure.. right?  This below is my plan for the year 2019 and since I have another month or so to end this year, I may come back and edit this post until the end of the year.

  1. Under-Promise/Over-Deliver – I lost the count of the number of times I told myself about this but I just don’t hold myself accountable.  That changes now.  For many reasons, both personal and professional, I get into more trouble coz I over-promise more than what I can deliver feasibly.  Then I am just scrambling to meet all the promises I made that I should not have made to begin with.
  2. Simplify-Simplify-Simplify – This is a vague goal but one worth mentioning.  What I mean by simplifying is to not complicate issues/matters/concepts.  Always look for the simplest reason or solution when one can be found.  If there are things that are complicating the project matters or issues, ruthlessly take those distractions and complications away.
  3. Create “Flow” Moments – I have been doing this lately and it has been super helpful.  After struggling for a bit, I get into these flow moments everyday and my productivity peaks during those flow moments.  I just gotta trust in my ability to get into those flow moments and get things done.  I also need to allow myself to get into the flow moments and not get distracted by other meaningless things.  There is some inertia right now to get into the flow moments and I think that comes from my lack of confidence in achieving those flow moments.  Once I win over that, I think I can convert every day into a highly productive and efficient one.
  4. Define a “Highlight” activity for the day and build your day around it – I have also tried this and it works really well for me.  So the concept is that you define one activity for every day as the highlight activity and as long as you have done that, it does not matter what else you have achieved, you get to tell yourself you had a successful day.  What it does subconsciously is that it makes everyday mean something and it also gives me an opportunity to look forward to that highlight activity and subsequently the day of the highlight activity.
  5. Plan your day the night before – Again a very helpful activity.  Just a quick rundown on the list of things that need to be accomplished for a given day will help us create efficiency in our planning process and also helps us be prepared for the day.  Everyone hates those last minute blowups that come from poor planning.
  6. Respect the Deadlines – I fail miserably at this.  I have so much on my plate and always feel like sand is slipping through my fingers.  I am barely meeting deadlines and It always happen in a mad rush.  I have to be better prepared for the deadlines.
  7. Creative Thinking – The regular paper pushing work happens on its own as there isn’t much thinking involved.  However, so much of my work is about creative thinking and unique solutions to age-old problems.  There is a lot of research to be done and lots to be thought through innovatively.  Sleep recharges my body the best way to do some creative thinking but I do not get enough sleep.  Getting away from mundane work helps me with creative thinking but I am too entangled in work to get away.  I need to make pockets of time available for creative thinking.
  8. Always Be Prepared – There is never a down moment, never an off-day.  So always gotta be prepared, gotta be responsive, gotta stay on top of things.  If I let things slack, it will catch up to me later.  No excuses!