Now is a great time to start planning for the final quarter of this year and the beginning of the New Year. We tend to underestimate how much time we actually need for planning. Then before we know it, we are in the throes of our day-to-day activities and planning takes a backseat to more immediate concerns.
To allow sufficient time for planning, associations might take a lesson from teachers — the proverbial ants, who make the most of their summers by planning for the next school year. Here are four summer planning tips that Lessonplans.com suggests for teachers that might also be applicable to your association:
- Conduct research. Before you begin the planning process, conduct some research online to learn about the newest developments in the field.
- Brainstorm new ideas for next year. Write them all down, and then choose the ones that are most important to you. After you know what you want to do next year, make a list of the tasks you must accomplish to make each dream a reality.
- Set goals. After the brainstorming process is complete, use the list of tasks you created to compose a calendar for yourself and follow it throughout the summer. Set milestones for yourself to meet and evaluate your progress along the way.
- Work with a buddy. As you plan, bounce ideas off one another, collaborate and evaluate each other’s plans. Provide each other with constructive criticism and praise one another on planning elements that you like.
In the same way that teachers are always thinking about their students, association leaders should always think about their members and plan for what’s next. As we approach the final days of summer, you might want to think about where you are in your planning process. Depending on your status, acting on one or more of these tips might make sense.