Many people fail to plan or think about what they are doing. You should always ask yourself, “What is my goal?” Stephen Covey talks about this in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. He wants you to think about the end before you start doing anything else. Covey points out that all things are created twice. There is the mental or first creation, and the physical or second creation. It’s like how an architect will design a building both on paper (mental) and build one (physical). Most people stop at the mental creation – they fail to take it past that point of conception. Planning out your day before you go into work gives you time to ask yourself important questions such as, “What are my goals for today and how will these improve someone’s day?” These types of questions should be asked every day.
How Will Your Day End
I find that considering how you want your day to conclude is beneficial. To help with this, Stephen Covey recommends visualizing your funeral. Think about what people are saying about you after you have passed away. As a support worker, visualize how your influence will improve another person’s day, and what they will say about you when you are finished your shift. This is a great way for support workers to think about their end goal every day, and it encourages them to be proactive throughout their shift (see my article on Proactive Support Work).
When you are planning, remember that people are more important than things, and relationships are more important than schedules! Always put others first – not yourself or your personal goals. If you see that someone is struggling with something – don’t just walk past them. Reach out and ask if they’re doing OK.
I believe that all support workers should write out a personal mission statement. This is a statement of values and goals that you should apply to your caregiving. This mission will guide your support work and ensure that you are always acting by your values. Organizations have mission statements, so why not individuals?
Write a Personal Mission Statement
Your Personal Mission Statement should be directed towards improving someone’s day. Here are two examples of a Personal Mission Statement: “I am here to help provide comfort and companionship to all my clients while ensuring they maintain the highest quality of life possible without interfering in their independence.” “My goal is to make my clients’ lives easier by completing my tasks quickly and efficiently, while also providing them with friendly conversation throughout the day.”
Another way for support workers to think about planning out their days is by thinking about how they would want someone else to care for them if they were unable to do it themselves. When performing any task, ask yourself, “If I were the client/relative, would I appreciate this type of care?”
When it comes down to it, planning is all about being proactive. It’s not enough to just show up for work on time – you have to do more than that! If you care about your clients and want to provide a high level of service, then start with the end in mind. Think about what you will do for work before you go there.
In this article I have talked about how thinking about the end result can help support workers plan out their days better. I believe that considering how your actions will impact others is important because it encourages you to be proactive throughout your shift. In addition, writing a personal mission statement helps support workers determine which actions they should take during their day-to-day interactions with clients and relatives. Finally, always put yourself in the client’s shoes when going through any task, as this will allow you to see if you would appreciate that type of service from someone else!
But remember! If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail. Countless studies prove that even the smallest amount of time spent practicing good habits – with absolutely no effort – can improve your life by leaps and bounds. So start with making a simple plan for the next day, and gradually work your way up to a seven-year plan!
The end goal is that you are happy with the lasting impact that you have made on someone’s life.