How to create a master plan is not something ever taught in schools, which is a huge bummer to all of us because, of the two things that will cause you to fail in life, #1 is insufficient effort, and #2 is bad strategy.
A master plan is something we create when we decide to have as much control over the process of reaching goals as possible.
Architects and builders shouldn’t be the only ones who benefit from this insanely easy, but monstrously effective planning method.
What is a master plan?
A master plan is a detailed roadmap that takes you from your initial thought, inkling, idea, or vision, and guides you along the yellow brick road, to the land of oz that is your completely accomplished and realized goal or project.
In other words, master planners win, all the time, every time.
You can create a master plan for any goal, desire for accomplishment, project, or thing you’ve got going on that you really really really want to succeed at.
How to create a master plan
A brain dump is how you take that huge maelstrom of ideas in your head and organize them. Do exactly what it says, and “dump” all those ideas onto a piece of paper (or several).
- Write everything you’ve thought of until now
- Don’t stress out about remembering anything.
- The dumping step is a phase, if you need to come back later and dump more, then do so.
Brain dumping is simple: without the need to create something coherent, just dump every idea you have about your goal or project. You can organize it later.
Organize Brain Dump into Plan
See why there was no pressure to organize in the first step? The time has come to organize all those steps, and there are several ways you can do this.
- By person (who will help, who will be involved?)
- By location (where will this be done?)
- By object / Subject (what will you be doing? What things in this brain dump are related and why?)
How to organize your brain dump: Go over the ideas with several different color markers, inks, or any other way of marking them by color. When two or more things are related to one another, give them a color. Then organize them on separate sheets by color and view them this way.
Identify Best Foot Forward & Create Action plan
Imagine you have only two steps to cross a street covered in mud and filth. You’re in your best suit (or dress) and you’d prefer to keep it clean. How do you proceed? Naturally you would take the biggest steps you possibly could at first, to close as much distance as possible. Then, to skip puddles and dirty spots, you would take smaller skips and steps to get across the rest of the way.
When pursuing a goal, or accomplish anything, you will have a timeline.
- The start
- The execution (middle)
- The end (having your results in hand)
To bridge as much distance as possible between start and finish, take out the most comprehensive tasks at first. Don’t do that thing we do when we say “Oh, I’ll just take out these little easy tasks first, and only have two or three large ones left over.”
Make as much progress as possible, first!
- What needs to be done first, so that other things can be done?
- What actions will provide the most results
- Which are time sensitive?
Put these at the front of the line, adjust the fine details toward the end.
Discover Strengths and Weaknesses
Along your path, there will be opportunities to move forward quickly, and potholes to step into, break your ankle, and go way backwards way fast.
Look into the future and think about when you could sprint forward, and what will come that might cause you to fail.
Then develop a plan for embracing those opportunities, and avoiding the pitfalls. When they occur you’ll be better prepared to handle them.
Take the First Step Now!
- Literally decide your first step.
- Decide to work on it for 5 minutes.
- Do research
- Read about how others have done it