Step 19 - Tools for planning and problem solving

Published on 17th May 2019


Now we have reached step 19 you may be feeling a little overwhelmed by all the things I suggest you do. Here is a simple planning and prioritising tool to help you.

Place all you tasks in one of the following boxes and complete in this order:

Urgent and Important
Important and not urgent
Urgent and not important - Consider whether you should do
Not urgent and not important - Don’t Do - Bin!!

Here is a list of things you might need to prioritise

  • Renew subscription to Industry Magazine
  • Meet with webmaster to discuss new pages
  • Deal with clients complaints
  • Process invoices
  • Spent time on new project ideas
  • Go through e-mails
  • Choose cpd for the year
  • Plan presentation for next months talk to health club manager and staff
  • Order new equipment
  • Do monthly accounts

If you set your goals for the month or quarter you will have a bit of a compass to help you decide what is your top priority. So if your goal is to find 2 new clinic opportunities the top priority has to be the presentation for the health club manager.

How does a problem become a problem?

I remember as if it was yesterday, being at a conference where one of the presenters had no arms. He had been subjected to the thalidomide drug whilst in the womb.  What was inspiring about this man was that he played the drums and piano to a very high standard with his toes. Did he have a problem?

A problem becomes a problem when we:

Name it
Compare it
Dwell upon it
Deny it (strangely by denying it we are actually acknowledging it!)

It then becomes “a thing”.

The fact is we cannot solve a problem within the situation which it was created.

We need to step outside the problem see the wood for the trees and find a solution with a fresh pair of eyes.

Here are some things you can do to solve the problem or make it much less serious:

1/ Reframe it

This is taken from:  Feel Happy Now by Michael Neill. Getting problems into perspective

One morning I went outside and saw that some builders had dumped wet concrete on my lawn in the process of ‘cleaning up’ after a new job. Big problem - the lawn was fairly newly seeded and the concrete had now mixed with the dirt and hardened. I was probably going to have to dig up the lawn and start again. My mind began to race as I considered the many things I would need to fix the problem and perhaps ‘fix’ the builders in the process.

            In the midst of quietly and not so quietly fuming about it, I received a call from a client whose father was on his way to have an ‘inoperable’ brain tumour operated on by some surgeons who fortunately forgot to read the manual about what can’t be done.

            When I returned outside about 20 minutes later, I noticed with interest there was still some concrete on my lawn. What had changed is that it was no longer a problem – it had returned to just being concrete.

2/ Ask better questions

What about this that isn’t a problem?

What is bigger? The problem or everything else?

What can I learn from this?

What’s the opportunity hiding behind this problem?

3/ Future pace it

This too will pass, visualise a year from now when it will all be over

4/ Accept it

One of the biggest causes of stress is resistance

5/Act bigger

If you have a big problem in your life, it means you are being a small person!  


Good luck!


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