Monday, December 8, 2014
Get Clear For The New Year Week #2: Weekly Strategy Session, Morning Jumpstart and End-of-Day Wrap-up
If you wait until your week unfolds, you are often at the whim of others’ priorities; if you take time to plan your approach beforehand, checking your progress throughout, you are more likely to build a structure for focusing on what’s most important to you. Here are tools I recommend building into your regular habits for ensuring the greatest success in marrying your actions to your priorities:
I. Weekly Strategy Session: Whether you accomplish this at the end of your Friday, sometime over the weekend or first-thing on Monday morning, it is imperative to create a game plan for the upcoming week. Just like football teams wouldn’t go into a game with out a plan, you need a game for accomplishing all you intend for your week. In each weekly strategy session, focus on these items…
- Evaluate which of the prior week’s tasks were completed, determining what’s left undone and must be carried into the new week; then, reschedule each undone “what” to a new “when” so you have a clear timeline for winning.
- Clarify any changes to your priorities so those people and activities most important to you get scheduled accordingly; start your weekly game plan by allocating time for what’s most important before anything else.
- Review the upcoming week’s commitments to ensure you’ve prepared for the related tasks and appointments; as appropriate, include when you’ll sleep, when you’ll workout and what you’ll eat.
- Determine additional opportunities for personal and professional growth; what actions or connections will move you towards accomplishing more of your goals?
- Map out a game plan for the upcoming week’s activities, remembering that every “what” assigned a specific “when” is more likely to get done but that you have only so many minutes allocated to your week.
II. Morning Jumpstart: While we all believe we are superheroes who can accomplish a never-ending list of tasks and appointments, each of us is only one human-being; therefore, it is important to start the day on the right foot to accomplish all that is realistically possible. Jumpstart your morning in these ways...
- Enter each day of your life with 3 - 5 items that are “must do” for that day, whether those are appointments or tasks, as that is a realistic goal. If you complete more, that is a bonus.
- Follow the philosophy of “swallow the frog” such that you complete the most difficult and vital task or item you’ve been avoiding before moving to others.
- Keep in mind the saying that an elephant is eaten one bite at a time, and break projects into smaller, more manageable action items, starting each of these on your list with a specific verb.
III. End-of-Day Wrap-Up: I like to think of the last 15 minutes or so of each workday as my “check-up from the neck up”, and I always aim to accomplish the following activities…
- Review the day’s tasks, preparing the next day’s “must do” list based off what was left undone from today as well as what must be done for tomorrow.
- Evaluate your schedule for the next day and verify that you are prepared for everything coming up.
- Get end-of-day updates from each of your team members.
- Tidy up your workspace, filing newly arrived items while putting the day’s work back into each item’s assigned home.
- Reflect on your greatest success from that day, and make note of that for which you are grateful.
If you’re having trouble completing any one of these processes or think they are taking too long, you can use a timer to move things along… Here are a few benefits from using this productivity tool:
- Once you get rolling, you might not stop as activity breeds activity, ending procrastination.
- You can do anything for 15 minutes or so, better keeping yourself focused over a shorter duration.
- Shorter times allowed for specific activities lead to an extra burst of energy, driving greater output.
ASSIGNMENT: Visit http://youtu.be/Kt0UAyzyvpQ to see a video related to this blog post; then, this week, start developing the habits of a weekly strategy session, morning jumpstart and end-of-day wrap-up. Find an existing habit with which you can connect each of these new processes so you are more likely to get them all completed; then, set a timer to see how quickly you can accomplish each one. Reward yourself for successfully doing each of the three, celebrating every step towards developing them into habits.
Do you currently complete a weekly strategy session, morning jumpstart and / or end-of-day wrap-up? If you do, how have these boosted your productivity? If you don’t do them already, how can you incorporate these into your existing workflows to better boost your output?