Submitted by Dolly Punsalan Castillo 

Every successful project, event, or program doesn’t just happen with the flick of a finger.  For sure, an effective planning process was securely put in place in the background.  It can be basic or elaborate, depending on the enormity of the said project, event, or program.

Let’s not go far from this juncture, but share some basic template for normal people like us. This simple guideline is meant to make life easy and meaningful, plus being a surefire stress buster.  Laying the foundation for a multitask process is crucial.  The success or Waterloo of such an undertaking is pinned on the fanning of main tasks versus subtasks.  This project at – a – glance assures everything was thought of with reasonable timelines and resources – human or material.  When you hear the need of project management skills, it is a must to assure Success or Failure.  Very important is not only the technical or material specifications but especially the overlooked area of human relationships and dynamics.  The best-laid plan can go awry if the human resource is neglected to the satisfaction of participating and action oriented people.  This takes into consideration the basic values of courtesy, respect for each one’s area of specialization, clear communication channels, and most of all, commendation or recognition for job well done.  

I once attended a strategic planning session for a group established four years ago.  I had moderate expectations of the process but I was quite wowed together with other attendees.  They expressed strong satisfaction with the planning exercise.  Flagging spirits were picked up with renewed sense of commitment for the Vision, Mission, and Objectives. This is one of the greatest benefits of the session – it fired up the enthusiasm of the members and reinforced personal commitment for concrete results and palpable opportunities.  In short, the clarity of the planning and projected results paves a clear path towards success and personal as well as organizational fulfillment.

In our personal lives, thinking ahead and anticipating the road to achievement of objectives can be started with simple elements and enhanced later with practice.  Planning takes all the possible little things and steps that can make or break the well laid plans.  This is called the big picture so we don’t get stuck in the elements that make up for the whole.  We need both the visionaries and the doers when executing a project, initiative, or program. The Dream inspires and the nitty gritty are taken cared of in the so – called tactical planning.   


On another note, has your recent vacation, holiday, or respite energized you?  A big factor in my opinion is the learning, insights that carve out a different paradigm of ‘taking a break’.  I preplanned my holiday to bond with family, engage in common and enjoyable chores and conversations.  I was surprised to get a thrill even with simple mundane tasks when done with family members in a collegial atmosphere.  Please try it and your contentment soars beyond your expectations.

Pace yourself is another strategy to come out refreshed from a vacation.  Cramming experiences in so short a time defeats the purpose of being energized.  Go for the slow lane at times and smell the flowers and grass along the way.  It’s healthy, mind placating and spirit booster.