Are you looking forward to the weekend? Me too! This week I thought I'd share with you one of the habits I try to maintain to keep myself on top of things and performing at my best.
It's my 'Friday final hour', which is the hour (or 30 minutes if there is meeting creep) that I spend on a Friday late afternoon that allows me to clear my head, and start the weekend fresh and confident about where 'the work stuff' is at. It's the invaluable hour I spend reviewing the week, and planing for the week ahead.
It's not just a cursory glance, and there's usually at least a 5 times return on the hour invested the next week. If you're interested in taking a look under the hood, here are the steps I go through:
Reflect and consolidate:
• Look at the weekly view on my calendar and assess whether I achieved what I set out to this week and if not, why not. I write out my weekly goals in a separate planner every Monday, so I review that, too.
• Figure out what I need to do to improve in the areas that I didn't nail this week. Identify the moments that I can put those improvement points into action..ideally in next week's.
• Collate in one place the actions that arose out of all my meetings that I need to do, and put those actions in my calendar.
Plan and update:
• Update my 'to-do' list. Step back and make sure that there isn't any 'junk' on it (doesn't move me forward to achieving the important things)
• Review my calendar for next week and make any changes.
• Figure out where I need help and schedule time that's held specifically for me to ask for help.
• Make sure I have everything I need in one place (I still print stuff) and readily accessible so I'm not faffing around last minute and starting my sessions disorganised.
• Thank my team and make sure they have everything they need to get cracking next week
• Ensure I have preparation time scheduled before each 'big' meeting (now zoom) and workshop (now webinar) I run.
• Check for balance: is there enough self-care planned, am I 'over-scheduled', do I have family time? Make changes as a result.
Want to accelerate?
Possibly the one that's easiest to slip but the most important to achieving my goals is the third one: 'Figure out where I need help and schedule time that's held specifically for me to ask for help.'
We don't know it all and we can't do it all, but we can take actions that will help us get it all. Over the last few weeks I've become a lot better at asking for help, and do you know what? I've spent less time thinking and spinning my wheels. The guilt I sometimes carry for not getting things done as quickly as I'd like has reduced significantly. It's been liberating.
Asking for help makes the boat go faster and I'm finding that at the moment, people are more willing to help out where they can.
I am willing....just ask!
Last week I asked you to pay the gift of the Lockdown Library forward, so I'd like to pay forward the gift of time and assistance I've received from people over the last few weeks.
I'd like to invite you to respond to this email with the answer to the following question:
"What's the one thing I'd love to get done next week?"
then we'll find 15 minutes where we can hop on the phone together and help you make progress.
I look forward to hearing from you.