Q:

How do you develop a plan of action?

A:

Quick Answer

The first step when developing an action plan is to outline what you want to achieve, as clearly and pragmatically as possible. Define a sequence of all the major steps you need to take. Finally, divide each of the steps into specific tasks you must complete in order to finish the project.

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Full Answer

A vague goal undermines your action plan right from the beginning, so it's important to start with a clear goal in mind. There are different techniques for solidifying your goal, such as the SMART goal system, which states that a goal should be specific, measurable, action-oriented, relevant and time-bound. These parameters allow you to create a strategy, focus your efforts and measure your progress toward your goal.

Create a to-do list that breaks down the plan into tasks as small and manageable as possible, assign a time limit for each one, and arrange the tasks in chronological order. If necessary, create a realistic daily or weekly schedule with the specific number of hours or days required for each task. Consider what kind of problems you might encounter when completing each task, and specify solutions in advance to avoid delays. Monitor your milestones, and adjust the plan as needed.

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