How much planning went into your last presentation? What about the last report you created? For many of us, unless we are forced by a larger process, we create our work as we go. After all, who has the time to plan? These days, isn’t it just faster to create a first draft and make improvements later?
Sometimes, “winging it” is good enough. However, I know that in my case there is a big difference between the work that is planned, and the work that isn’t. My better presentations were sketched out before built into slides. Reports that I took the time to design beforehand, required less edits later on. The fact is, we need to keep the big picture in mind. Before you focus on whether or not a particular detail is what you want to use, step back and get your message down. Chose the right charts and graphs for your data. Think about about what colors you want to use. A little bit of planning can help make the difference between good work and great work.