Are you looking to increase your effectiveness? The best hour of my week is the hour I invest on Saturday morning planning out my week. This meeting sets the course for effectiveness in my personal and business life.
We all have three resources: time, energy, and money. Most people understand what it takes to manage money. Many people have eating and exercise habits (or aspirations!) to manage their energy. However, the question you have to ask yourself is, “How am I managing my time?” A weekly planning meeting gives you space to proactively manage your time ensuring you accomplish the things most imprortant to you.
My weekly planning meeting involves three things:
- Connecting with my personal values, vision, and goals
- Reviewing my previous week
- Planning the next week
Let’s take a look at each of these items.
1. Reconnect With Your Personal Values, Vision, and Goals
The first thing to do is to remember who you are, what drives you, and what you want to become. The tyranny of the urgent during the week tends to distract me from the core of whom I want to be.
If you haven’t written down your values, why not do it right now? What is important to you? What are the words that guide your life?
As a marketing professional I have a diagnosed alliteration sickness, so all of my values begin with the same letter.
These words mean a lot to me. Every week I spend time reflecting on them and thinking about how well I lived these out in the previous week.
At the end of my life I’ve been told that I won’t be wishing I spent more time at the office. Instead, I’ll be thinking about my family and friends. What legacy did I leave behind? How did I impact their lives?
To help I’ve written a vision statement for what I want my life to look like three years from now in several core areas: faith, family, friends, fitness, finance, and fun. I’ve also written out vision statements for the businesses and nonprofits I lead. These vision statements are vivid descriptions of what I’d like my life to look like in each of these areas three years from now. This vision statement includes pictures that help me connect with my vision.
Next, I review my goals. Each quarter I get off the grid for a few days to set the course for the next three months. Similar to my weekly planning meetings, I take a deep dive into my personal goals. From an organizational perspective, we do the same thing in our companies using the Entrepreneur’s Operating System (EOS) methodology outlined in Gino Wickman’s book, Traction.
2. Review the Previous Week
With my vision, values, and goals in mind, I take a look back at the previous week. To do this, I pull out my calendar and my task management system.
How did I do? Where were my wins? What did I learn? What do I want to change next week?
The Best Self (www.bestself.co) organizer is my new favorite tool for reviewing my week. It prompts me to reflect and journal in each of these areas.
3. Plan the Next Week
Leadership guru and pastor Bill Hybels says the most sacred document in your life (next to the Bible) is your calendar. Your calendar is where you budget your most precious resource: time.
In the spirit of Stephen Covey’s big rocks, I start managing my calendar by blocking time for faith, family, friends, and fitness. Then, I look at my quarterly goals for the businesses and nonprofits that I lead and block off time for these.
In reality, 85% of life is based on habits. There are standing meetings I have each week like our EOS Level 10 meetings. There are also key actions I need to accomplish each week. This is where my digital calendar comes in handy.
- Standing meetings are set up with weekly recurring meetings
- Items that I need to do every week are set up as recurring meetings and “parked” on Sunday. When I go to plan my week, I simply drag these items into open spots in my week.
Every day I need margin to “Get Things Done.” Rather than be interrupted every 30 seconds by email, I block off time to tackle my inbox. Using the Getting Things Done (GTD) model, all tasks fit one of these categories: Do It, Delegate It, Defer It (put it on the to-do list), or Delete It.
Do you want to increase your effectiveness? Set a standing meeting with yourself on Saturday morning and see what happens!