Mastering Planning Vol 3: Monthly Planning – Learn how to plan out your months so that you can develop a long-term vision that will guide you through your weeks.
As you know if you’ve taken the previous two courses in this series, the key thing that makes this planning system unique is that it is designed to help you improve your planning, scheduling and time estimation skills over time.
And it’s at the monthly level of planning where all the time recordings you’ve been doing on a day to day basis start to pay off.
There are 3 important documents you will be creating each month during the hour long monthly planning process.
The first one you can see in the course image. This document allows you to plan out your major projects each month to ensure that you aren’t over scheduling yourself with too many concurrent projects.
The second document is the review and planning one pager that you are already familiar with from the weekly planning course.
And the third document is the Planning Skills Assessement one pager. This is the place where you collect your learnings from the previous month, keep track of your Planning KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and track yourself as your planning skills improve months by month.
The 30 day time scale is where people start to lose visibility, meaning beyond a week or two in the past or the future, their memory of the past (and imagination of the future) becomes very foggy.
Just as in my accelerated learning courses, I advocate a spaced repetition solution to this memory problem. Simply put, if you aren’t getting spaced repetitions on both your future long terms goals, as well as your past successes and failures (and most importantly, what you learned from both), then you are not going to be able to effectively chart the course of your life.
The unique method of planning using the one pager template you get in this course will allow you to see your last months in “story mode,” meaning that you can lay the pages out on your desk or table one over the other and quickly get a birds eye view of the last however many months you want to look at.
The other great thing about this system is that it’s designed to help you get clarity, down to actual numbers, on your time constraints. Most people have very little visibility into how constrained their time actually is, with all the hidden habits and routines that are part of their lives, but that they never get fully aware of.
You can only plan effectively if you really understand all these constraints. Only then can you consistently plan things and have them come to fruition on time and on budget. You will learn, for example, how to incorporate buffers into your monthly planning project.
This monthly planning routine goes hand in hand with your weekly planning hour. On the Sunday before the first day of the next month, you will spend 2 hours planning: a half hour to Measure and Learn from your previous week, an hour to go through the full PAMeLa model at the monthly level, and then one more half hour coming back down to the weekly plane to plan your upcoming week.
This course will be the first step in getting your long term planning handled, and get you ready to take the next steps into Quarterly and Yearly planning, as well as the time periods beyond that, which are coming next in this series.