A man who does not think and plan ahead will find trouble at his door.
Planned or unplanned activity makes a difference in your career management and any other work or activity that you do. Carrying out an activity by fits and starts, spasmodic and desultory dabbling never produces the same result as work carried on with a definite purpose and clear-cut lines.
If G.B. Shaw had not made it a strict rule to do first things first, he would probably have failed as a writer and might have remained a bank cashier all his life. His plan called for writing five pages each day. That plan and his dogged determination to carry it through saved him. That plan inspired him to go right on writing five pages a day for nine heart-breaking years, even though he made a total of only … about a penny a day.
Shaw snapped his fingers at circumstances and said, “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
No magician ever pulled a rabbit out of a hat without carefully putting one there in the first place. No man can hope to arrive if he does not know where he is going. He will be like a ship without a rudder, adrift at the mercy of wind and tide or of circumstances.
The difference between planned activity and unplanned activity is brought out crisply by Victor Hugo: “He who every morning plans the transactions of the day, and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the busiest life. The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of light which darts itself through all his occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidents, all things lie huddled together in one chaos, which admits of neither distribution nor review.”
The secret of success in any field of endeavour, including study, lies in six magic words: PLAN YOUR WORK; WORK YOUR PLAN
How to plan your study-work?
In coping with any course of study make yourself (1) a long-term plan embracing the total time you have at your disposal; and (2) short-term plans, monthly, fortnightly, or weekly as may be convenient.
For making the long-term plan find out all about the syllabuses you have to cover, the text books and other material you must read and learn, the practical work you have to cover and other requirements which you have to satisfy. This long-term plan may have to be revised from time to time, but you should have an over-all picture of your study-work and the time-range of your plan.
The long-term plan may be split up into periodical short-term plans in which you can set yourself targets for important pieces of work.
Keep a record of the progress of your plans-in-action.
How to work your plans?
Your plans will work only if you work them. Give top priority to their implementation. Put your whole heart into them. Strive with both your body and mind towards hitting your targets.
Give each stage in your plans your undivided attention. Don’t look farther than each stage, thereby following the example of the mountaineer who cuts steps in the ice, refusing to look up at the heights or down into the depths because the sight of either would terrify him.
A French sage remarks pertinently, “The fool thinks everything is easy and comes in for many rude awakenings; the sluggard believes that all is impossible, and undertakes nothing; the good workman knows that great things are possible, and prudently, little by little, he accomplishes them.”
The homely saying “Little by little and bit by bit” teaches patience and perseverance. Don’t be discouraged by the size of the task you have to do. Stick to it and you will achieve success. The well-known fable of the hare and the tortoise teaches us that slow but sure, wins the race. The race was won by the slow tortoise, which plodded steadily on while the hare, over-confident of victory, took things too easily.
To persist you need the ability to turn a deaf ear to the remarks of other people. Some will tell you that you cannot succeed because you lack brains, brawn, skill, time and so on. Others will tempt you to leave work for more pleasurable occupations. Do what you have planned inspite of discouragement and temptations of others. Then the day will come quickly when you will have the satisfaction of reaching your goals and free time for pleasure while others are still dabbling, wobbling and struggling.
You never hear of quitters. They never attain success or happiness. They go through life leaving a trail of unfinished jobs—what can they possibly lead to but frustration and failure? A winner never quits; a quitter never wins.