If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail – 5 Easy Steps for Creating a Daily Plan for Success

If You Fail to Plan, You Plan to Fail – 5 Easy Steps for Creating a Daily Plan for Success

Don’t tell me you don’t have time – just plan better

I always hear the same complaints: “I don’t know where to start!”, “I don’t have time for this!”, “I’ve tried it so many times, but my day has only 24 hours!” And so on and so on.

Why is it that so many people use “I don’t have time” as an excuse NOT to do what they are asked to do, or what they want to do? And the worst part is, they get away with it!

On the other hand, it can be so easy to do it differently. You just need structure and discipline. Here are five easy steps to be more relaxed and happy about time constraints:

  1. Write a daily plan and keep it simple – a “to do” list
  2. Make it a habit to end your work day by writing your plan for the next day (don’t waste time planning in the morning)
  3. Attack the most difficult tasks (or the ones you least want to do) first
  4. Track your progress – cross things off the list as they are completed
  5. Start your plan for the next day with any items that weren’t completed from today’s plan

In a nutshell: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!

Your thoughts?

Claudia Irmer is a Results Consultant for Cohen Brown Management (Europe) Ltd.

Cohen Brown Management Group is the internally recognized leader in sales-and-service cultural and behavioral change, specializing in consulting and training processes for management, front-line, support/customer service units and call centers. Performance Grapevine provides thought leadership insights on sales training, sales management, leadership training, time management, consultative selling, behavior change, organization change, and culture change.


  1. Alasdair McBryde 11 years ago

    The key word here is DISCIPLINE. Unfortunately too many people associate discipline with a negative consequence probably dating back to school. Discipline actually has an abundance of positive consequences especially when it comes to success in any endeavour. I teach my teams that discipline is a behaviour/action NOT a skill. If you want to get fit then the discipline is actually GOING to the gym. Once you are in the gym the rest is easy and you can focus on improving your exercise skills. The discipline is GOING to the gym. It is an action, not a skill. You have to overcome the excuses and procrastination in your head and just DO.
    When you just DO on a regular basis it becomes a (good) habit, you get to enjoy success and life is GOOD (positive consequence). Why do we complicate things so much? Life is easy when you know how – Get disciplined!

  2. Claudia Irmer 11 years ago

    I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for your opinion on “discipline” and its positive consequences. One remark though: I don’t believe that an action carried out on a regular basis becomes automatically a habit. In some rare cases this might be true, but in general there needs to be someone (coach, superior, parents) in the background and follow-up, remind and link the action to the overall goal as well as pointing out the reason WHY we are asking for a specific action. The behaviour/action in combination with follow-up is what we need and then life will definitely be so much easier.

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