I’m a huge fan of creating and working action plans. It just fits for my personality, and is a tool I rely on for so many aspects of my life. For two years in a row I’ve taken on the organizing of a neighborhood Yard Sale. I like having yard sales. It’s a great way to get rid of unwanted stuff, I make a couple of hundred dollars, but best of all (for me), I get to meet a bunch of my neighbors.
What does this have to do with Action Plans? Well, I create one for the yard sale. I write down all the things I’m gonna have to do to make this yard sale a success. Here’s a sample of my very basic action plan for that recent event.
Decide to do it
Check with the Bus Route folks to ensure we don’t impede bus traffic (it happened last year)
Write the invites to nearby homeowners
Pass out the invites (200 houses get them on 6 different streets)
Make the sign- up sheet so when folks call or email, I have a master list
Write & submit the newspaper ad
Write and post the kijiji ad
Make some street posters for the day of
Assemble and price all my own items
Buy balloons to give one to each participating household to mark their driveway
Put up the street posters
Collect the $2 contribution I’ve asked for from each participant to cover our promotion
Pray for a sunny day
Set up & sell everything possible on the day of
When it’s all over, pack up what’s left and cart it off to the Salvation Army depot
Take down the street posters
Assemble the email list for everyone who participated
Send a wrap note to all participants
Have the distribution list on file so I can contact them easily next year.
Put the file in my file cabinet and forget about it for about 11 months!
If you’ve got a good Action Plan system, you’re ahead of the game. If you don’t, think about the simple act of writing down, in advance, every task you can think of in support of a project. It’s simple, it’s easy to follow and it provides a good template for the next time you’ve got a similar project on your plate.