Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sowing (and Reaping) O.A.T.S.

Ahhh...the beginning of a new week. Always seems to be both a wide-open seven days of possibility and, at the same time, not enough time to complete the ever-growing list of "things I've got to do". While planning for the week may seem intimidating, it becomes MUCH easier when you have a system to follow. One such approach is the OATS formula:

O: Objectives - First identify what your goals are. What results do you want to achieve by the end of the week. Write them down and rank each one.

A: Activities - For each goal, write down what you need to actually do (think behaviors) to bring each objective to fruition. This is the "Who" part of the formula.

T: Time - The "When" part of the formula is not only establishing a deadline, but also estimating how much time each goal/action will require. I try to add an extra buffer to allow for unexpected developments. If the unexpected development is that nothing unexpected came up, then my unexpected development is that I have extra time to accomplish new adventures!

S: Schedule - Once you have the previous details in place, you can place them appropriately in your calendar. Take into consideration when you do your best work (we all have different preferences/bio-rhythms, etc.) One tough obstacle is that few people place as high a value on time commitments to themselves as they do to commitments made to others. Make yourself and your plans a priority!

Simple and to the point. Try it out and see if this works for you. If you sow your OATS now, you'll be reaping that investment into you (and your life plans) soon!

Think about it - but more importantly, do something about!