Billboard Mastery Podcast: Episode 45

Nightly Planning Yields Big Results

If you want to make faster progress, a lot of it comes down to planning. In this Billboard Mastery podcast we’re going to review some methods of attaining greater control of your time and how great the net impact can be on the productivity of your billboard portfolio.

Episode 45: Nightly Planning Yields Big Results Transcript

Webster's dictionary defines planning as a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something. This is Frank Rolfe, the Billboard Mastery podcast. We're gonna be talking about doing nightly planning to get really big results with your day and with your time. I'm a huge believer in this, I've been doing this for almost 40 years. What I do is every night before the next day, I make a plan for what I plan on doing that next day, and that's what helps focus me and drive me forward. Now, why would you want to create every night a plan for the next day? Seems like a lot of work, wouldn't you rather just be like watching TV or doing something you enjoy in that kind of down time.

And the answer is, well, there are some real important things that happen, some processes, when you do that nightly planning. First off, it gets you really focused. When you do nightly planning, everything revolves around whatever your goals are, and since you're reminding yourself daily of exactly where you stand in relation to those goals, it makes you very focused and typically helps you to achieve those goals. Also it's very time efficient, it really improves your time efficiency when you pre-plan, think of anything else you do that you plan ahead for, let's say you're gonna go on a picnic, what are you gonna do? Well, you're gonna buy all the ingredients that you need to supply things for the picnic, you're gonna go to the store, you're gonna buy lunch meat, you're gonna buy bread, you're gonna buy cheese and potato chips and utensils.

If you don't do these things in advance, think of the pandemonium. When you're gonna go to the picnic, you're gonna have to run around, maybe stop at kind of a quick mart place, a grocery store and gas station too, you can cobble together and, "Uh oh, they're out of bread," and, "Uh oh, they're out of utensils." So when you lay it out in advance, a day ahead it really helps you out from an efficiency standpoint. Finally, it gives you a score card of how you did, because every day you're comparing what happened with that day, to what you hoped happened with that day, so you know whether you're making advancements on your goal, if you're being successful, or if you're failing to get there. So if we do assume, and I think no one would disagree, that nightly planning is very important to your success the next day. The big question is, how do you do it? Well, I'm of an old-fashioned mindset when it comes to planning, I like to have it where it's right on paper for me to see. I don't like to do it on a computer, but if you like to do it on a computer, you certainly can.

And for an efficiency perspective, my call list, I maintain every day. You would not wanna write down all those names and phone numbers every single night, so your call list maybe something you carry around all the time, you don't change that, but your action steps will certainly change every single day. Now, what happens on the day, you've written down each night your action steps and you have your call list, so what happens when daytime arrives? What do you do? Well, clearly, what you're gonna be doing is you're gonna be really focusing on getting all those action steps done, your calls are something that are not as important as your action steps, but they will filter in all of the rest of your time, every second of the day, when you're not talking on the phone or doing something, you're going to fall back to making those calls, and you're gonna be triaging throughout the day, how are we doing, what is important, what should we be working on that's more important than another item, because often you'll never get everything done in each day, and that's deliberate, the more things you give yourself to do during the day, the more you will get accomplished, but at some point in the day, the day is winding down, you will start having to triage based on the list.

"Okay, I didn't hit my goals as far as time, I had delays, someone was late to a meeting," so let's triage, what are the most important things you're admitting I can try and get in this day.

At the very end of each day while you're coming up with your list of the next day, it's very, very important just to simply reflect on what went right and what went wrong, grade yourself, how did I score on this, how did I score on that, and what can I do better? What skills do I need to develop to do a better job of getting these action steps completed? 

One final thing I like to do is I like to do a daily, in my mind, ritual of giving thanks for the good things that happened during the day, for people that helped me, for things that went my way. A lot of psychiatrists have found it's very beneficial to people, if you do kind of those daily thank lists, it really helps your mental attitude out, makes you really appreciate all the good things that go on in your life. So that's how I plan for every day. Now, I've been doing this continuously now for over 40 years, and I can tell you I would have never accomplished all the many things that I have if I had not spent that extra time each night laying out what happens the next day. This is Frank Rolfe, the Billboard Mastery podcast, hope you enjoyed this, talk to you again soon.