7 Keys To Planning Your Work And Working Your Plan

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If every believer were to accomplish everything they’ve told me they’re going to do. . .or what they say. . .God told them to do. . .we’d have a gazillion more billionaires.

No question. . .Jesus would have returned for His Bride. . .because the whole world. . .every language and ethnic group would have heard the gospel.

Why hasn’t the rapture taken place?  It’s because a large number of Christians are better at talking than planning and/or doing.

Unfortunately, sometimes we talk. . .but we don’t plan.

Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League once said:

“Plan your work and work your plan.”

God likes it when you plan your work and work your plan.

Proverbs 21:5 in the New Living Translation says:

“Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.” 

Victor Hugo, the author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame said:

“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.”

The way to avoid chaos and poverty in your life and in the lives of those you love is to plan your work and work your plan.  Here are key keys for you to consider and act on.

1.         Tonight before you go to bed. . .create a to-do list of the things you plan to accomplish tomorrow.

List them by priorities based on your goals in the six major areas of your life. . .spiritual, family, financial, physical, mental and social.


Your daily “to do” list should be a divine reflection of the things God has called you to accomplish with your life.

A “to do” list brings your future into your present.

Your “to do” list should include these five things keys.

First, your list should only include things that are scripturally acceptable for you to accomplish.

Second, your “to do” list should reflect daily tasks in accomplishing your goals in the six major areas of your life.

Third, your “to do” list should ALWAYS include tasks for your personal spiritual growth and family development.

Fourth, your “to do” list should be satisfying because of the things it will allow you to accomplish and/or eliminate from your priorities and goals.

Fifth and finally, an effective divine “to do” list should make sure that you’re doing everything decently and in order.

It’s also important that you review your list frequently during the day and mark off tasks that have been accomplished and add new ones as they occur to you.

Proverbs 6:4 in the New Living Translation says:

Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do.”

The most difficult part of any assignment or journey is the first step.  Don’t let the enemy of your success keep you from organizing your priorities and your life.

Ecclesiastes 11:4 in The Living Bible says:

“If you wait for perfect conditions you’ll never get anything done.”

Never go to bed at night before preparing your “to do” list for tomorrow.

2.         Select, buy or identify your primary data organizer and retrieval system.

Luke 14:28-30 in the Message Bible says:

“Is there anyone here who, planning to build a new house, doesn’t first sit down and figure the cost so you’ll know if you can complete it? If you only get the foundation laid and then run out of money, you’re going to look pretty foolish. Everyone passing by will poke fun at you: ‘He started something he couldn’t finish.’”

Counting the costs. . .making wise decisions is a characteristic of successful people and millionaires.

One of the successful characteristics of millionaires is that they write down their goals.  Keeping it in your head just isn’t good enough.  What would you think of a business that didn’t have written records?

If you do excellent work for someone else … you should do no less than that for yourself. You are a business manager for God. He has made you a steward of everything you are involved in on the earth. 

As stewards we own nothing but we have the awesome responsibility of managing everything and our Boss says we must write the vision and make it plain.

Your system can be electronic, i.e., smart phone (iPhone, Android); tablet (iPad, Galaxy, etc); daily planner (Day Timer); or legal pad.  If you choose the latter, I recommend you use legal pads with holes pre-punched so that you can place these sheets into a three-ring binder for proper storage so they are easily accessible.

The organizer should include:  your appointments, errands and daily tasks.

I personally use Task Task, an application for my iPhone, iPad and laptop.  When I enter data into one of these three apps it automatically populates on the other two so my information is centralized.  A number of people use Evernote and other tools.  You need to find what works for you and work it.

I suggest you check your goals at least twice a day . . . once in the morning before you begin your day and just before bed each night, so you can review your progress.

3.         If your time is your life…and it is…how are you managing it?

Some people ask me if I play golf…the answer is yes…even though I’ve only play 14 times in the last 20 years.  What makes this statistic even more interesting is that we live on the tenth hole of a golf course.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy golf. . .I do.  However, there are things I enjoy more with my time.

Let me explain. . .if I spent five hours a week playing golf. . .that works out to 260 hours a year or a total of  10,585 hours during the 40 years and 37 weeks Bev and I have been married.  When you divide it by 24 it equals 441 days that I would have been on a golf course and away from my fine wife and/or our children.

For me. . .I choose to spend my time with my family. . .as I never want to leave with regret.

Your time is the currency of your life. . .spend it wisely.

Here are a couple of keys. . .to managing your time.

First, read and respond to your emails and snail mail the first time you look at them. . .or don’t read them until you have time to answer.

Truthfully, this one is a continual challenge for me. . .but I’m working on it.

Second, use the alarms and timers on your phone to set aside a certain period of time for specific functions.

For instance, if you want to write a book. . .schedule a specific time each day that you can work on your project.  Follow this schedule for at least 21 days and it will become a habit.

Third, limit your phone conversations, texting and chats to a specific amount of time.  You decide a time frame that works for you.

Fourth, don’t waste time on idle gossip or meaningless conversations.  Yes, you can talk about sports or whatever interest you have but keep it within your perimeters.

Fifth, determine how much time you will spend watching TV and or surfing the net.  We record the TV programs that we want to watch.  We restrict the number and fast forward through the commercials.

The internet will take all the time you give it. . .so I encourage you to create time boundaries.

Sixth, give and expect punctuality on your appointments.  If someone is habitually late on their appointments. . .then they don’t value your time.  Create boundaries of expectation.

Seventh, when it comes to your dreams and goals. . .create specific timelines so you will know when you need to do what. . .to insure you achieve the success you desire.

4.         Inspect what you expect.

Simply said, you must inspect what you expect to prevent defects if you want to be perfect in your plan.

As I was preparing this teaching I came across Lamentations 3:40 in the New Living Translation which says:

“Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.”

In monitoring your progress. . .you will find that any turning from the Lord or minimizing your time with Him. . .will adversely affect your progress.  That’s why monitoring or self-examination is one of the most important things you can do.

1 Timothy 4:15 in the New Living Translation says:

“Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.”

Focus is critical to the success of your daily plan.  That’s why your “complete attention” to every detail is so important.

Check your progress each day around lunch time and make any necessary adjustments.

At the end of the day. . .any tasks that have not been completed should be move to tomorrow.

If you’ve completed all your tasks or your plan for the day. . .take the rest of the day off to do some things you want to do.

5.         Be a mentor and a protégé at the same time.

As I was writing this key. . .two things stirred in me.

First, you need to learn that you can’t do everything by yourself. . .no matter, how talented, gifted or determined you are.

Learn to delegate.  If your associate messes up. . .correct them. . .as you help them get back up and about business.

As you realize you can’t do it all. . .the reality of training become real.

Second, in order to help facilitate your plan. . .you need to have effective mentors.

Here are ten strategies for finding a mentor.

 1.        What area do you need mentoring in?

 2.        Create a list of possible mentors.

 3.        Start with the big dog or top cat and work down.

 4.        Write down everything you know about that person

 5.        Research.

 6.        Who do you know who knows them?

 7.        Prepare to contact them.

 8.        Make contact.

 9.        Follow up with a thank you note.

10.       If at first you don’t succeed, try the next one.

In selecting a mentor. . .here are five things you should consider.

First, does your mentor have the proper spiritual insight to train you?

Second, has your mentor actually experienced the advice they are giving you?

Third, does your mentor have a successful track record in the area in which they’re advising. . .be it the marketplace or ministry?

Advice that has not been tested, proven and successful is just opinion. . .an experiment … not experience.

Someone, regardless of how good they sound,. . . cannot take you where they haven’t been.

Fourth, always make sure that any advice from your mentor is legal, moral and ethical.

Finally, no matter how qualified and successful he/she may be. . .if they’re not a born-again, Holy Spirit filled believer, then you are unequally yokedand you need to move on to the next person on your list

6.         Remove obstacles, roadblocks and delays from your future.

Once you have determined your goal, developed your plan and identified your obstacles, immediately take action toward achieving your goal.

Don’t talk about it. Do it.

You are the writer, producer, director and star of your own life story.  You write the script.  You produce all the resources necessary to bring it to the big screen.  You direct all the action and overcome all the obstacles and limitations.  And finally, you’re the star. . .the main attraction.

Just always remember who gave you all the abilities and opportunities you enjoy.

The devil’s greatest desire is to neutralize, contain and render you ineffective for the kingdom of God.   His greatest achievement is not an active sinner but an inactive Christian who is not fully aware of the power working in and through him.  Get that down in your spirit and it will take you up and over the circumstances in life.

You’ve made your list of goals. . .now it’s time to start taking positive steps to bring about their immediate manifestation.

You will never complete your plan if you decide to only work on them when it’s convenient or you feel like it.  In six months or six years, you don’t want to look back and be an “Ida.”  That’s someone who says “If I’d of” only done this or If “I’d of” only done that.  The one thing you don’t want to say as you look in the mirror of your life is the words “coulda,” “shoulda,” “woulda,” or “One day I’m gonna.”

No excuses.  Now is the time, this is the day, YOUR DAY, YOUR TIME.

Work your plan.

Proverbs 12:27 in the Message Bible says:

“A lazy life is an empty life, but "early to rise" gets the job done.”

Proverbs 20:13 in the New Living Translation says:

“If you love sleep, you will end in poverty. Stay awake, work hard, and there will be plenty to eat!”

There is more to work than just showing up.  Even if you’re working for someone else, you should plan your work and work your plan . . . thus maximizing your effectiveness as an employee.

7.         Review, reflect and rejoice over your victories for the day.

Years ago, there was a TV show I really liked called “The A Team.”

More often than not. . .the plans didn’t come together as originally intended but Colonel Hannibal Smith would also say, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

Each night. . .celebrate the victories you’ve accomplished throughout the day and how your plan came together.

Judges 5:10 in the Message Bible says:

“You who ride on prize donkeys comfortably mounted on blankets And you who walk down the roads, ponder, attend! Gather at the town well and listen to them sing, Chanting the tale of God's victories, his victories accomplished in Israel. Then the people of God went down to the city gates.”

It’s always important to keep your accomplishments in an eternal perspective.

Ecclesiastes 2:18 in the Message Bible says:

“And I hated everything I'd accomplished and accumulated on this earth. I can't take it with me—no, I have to leave it to whoever comes after me. Whether they're worthy or worthless—and who's to tell?—they'll take over the earthly results of my intense thinking and hard work. Smoke.” 

As you accomplish great things in this life and for the Kingdom of God, it’s very important that you remember the words of Deuteronomy12:16 in the Message Bible which says:

“…You are to celebrate in the Presence of God, your God, all the things you've been able to accomplish.”

Plan your work and work you plan. . .but also remember the words of the famous painter, Michelangelo who said:

“Lord, grant that I may always desire more than I can accomplish.”