Planning: the key to success and pleasure | Inge Dowden Coaching

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Planning: the key to success and pleasure

My husband said in his wedding speech that I planned the event with military precision. Now it’s Christmas and we’re off to the other side of the world – you can bet I’ve been planning for both these events in the same way.

Whatever you’re organising in your business or personal life, I absolutely believe  great planning not only ensures its success – it leaves you free to thoroughly enjoy yourself.

Some people have a very relaxed attitude in the run up to a big event but the danger is on the day itself, without things being thought through and fully planned, there’s so much to worry about and no back-up if anything goes wrong.

I’m a planner by nature but what if you’re not? How do you go about making sure events go off the way you want, so that not only your guests but you too can have a great time?

Firstly, I’m a big fan of written lists. Don’t rely on your memory (whatever your age). Keep it handy and add to it straight away when you think of something. Prioritise and look at not just what you need to do but when. For very important events I always use Excel and sort it in date order.

Then use your imagination. Mentally run through the event and visualise every detail, so that you can plan in all that needs doing – from when to set out the chairs to making sure you have enough glasses and the drinks are ordered.

Be prepared for the unexpected so don’t have too precise a timetable. Rather make sure you build in extra time for things that go wrong or have been forgotten. For example, I persuaded a client to take a week off work before his wedding. His wife was delighted as it kept him calm and also gave him a breathing space when he was briefly unwell.

Keep a ‘done’ list and tick off what you have accomplished. There’s always more to do but remember to look at what you achieve and be happy.And once you’re there…stop and smell the roses, talk to people, have a great time. You’ve done all that needs doing – now enjoy yourself. You deserve it!

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