Eleanor’s Blog – February 2013

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So here we are in February already. How are your New Year resolutions going? Are they already a distant memory set aside for another year or are you still on track to achieve your goals? For those of you who are still on track .. Well done! Keep going! For those of you who are feeling a little despondent that it hasn’t worked out (again!) let’s consider how to increase your chances of success next time.

Starting something new is exciting and this gives us an adrenaline induced euphoria which often makes us forget to put the fundamentals in place so that we minimise the obstacles and maximise our chances of success. Yes, I’m talking about planning, so often seen as the ‘boring’ part of an activity. However, evidence supports the view that the success of the outcome directly correlates to the thoroughness of planning. Few of us would go on a trip or on holiday without taking time to do at least some planning otherwise we risk never leaving or never arriving! The more important the occasion the more likely we are to invest time in planning e.g. getting married, becoming a parent.

Taking time to plan will result in achieving the outcome that is required or desired. Planning will improve your effectiveness and efficiency and at work it will improve the quality of care and support you give to people.

Think about a common work task you do. Before you start do you take a moment to think through the steps of the task to ensure that:

a) you are sure about what needs to be done

b) you have the knowledge, understanding, skills and confidence to do the task

c) all the necessary equipment etc to carry the task out safely and efficiently
d) you consider the ‘what if… ? scenario so you can still complete the task even if unforeseen things happen

Or do you rush straight in without preparing first?

What is the difference in the outcome when you do prepare/plan?

So your mission, should you accept it, for February is to take time to plan and then reflect on the outcome to see what a difference a moment of thought can make to the quality of the outcome as well as the successful achievement.

Until next month…

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