During times of change, it can be easy to live in a “reactive” state. When we lead coalitions and partnerships, it can be easy to think that we always have to be reactive and ready to respond to anyone and everyone’s requests as soon as possible. This can be particularly true if you are a “people pleaser” or perhaps even a “recovering people pleaser.” 🙂 If we are going to be effective coalition leaders, it’s important apply Stephen Covey’s Habit #1 of “Be Proactive” to our schedules and our time. We need to protect time to work on our existing commitments and to be able to follow-through with what we have already committed to doing in order to build and maintain trust with our partners and colleagues. One of my favorite strategies for practicing proactivity is creating (or re-creating) an “ideal week.” I first discovered this concept from Michael Hyatt and each quarter, I review and revise it to fit my current season. If you have decided one thing you would like to “start” is developing your “ideal week,” then join me for three three ideas on how to create your “ideal week.”
- Review your calendar or diary. Look at the last three months and examine how your days and weeks were scheduled. Were most of your meetings on a particular day(s)? Were they spread out throughout the week? Did you have time to work on your most important projects or commitments? Did you find that you were moving from one meeting to another and were always available for whenever someone else needed to meet regardless of your ability to get work accomplished? Did you have time on your calendar for yourself and your family or friends? Did you allow yourself time to rest and rejuvenate?
- Consider when you are at your best. If you are a morning person and your best ideas, thoughts and products are created in the morning, then block time on your calendar in the mornings to work on the projects that require creative energy. If you work best in the afternoon, then block time in the afternoon for these types of projects. If you are at your best in the mornings and you schedule all of your meetings in the mornings, you will not have the capacity to be creative and thoughtful on those projects that require more “brain power.” Also, when you schedule time for this type of work, treat these time blocks as meetings (with yourself) and work diligently to keep those appointments (even if they may end up being 1.5 hours instead of 2!)
- Create your “meeting” days and your “non-meeting” days. As someone who facilitates meetings and loves a great meeting, I enjoy meeting with partners and working on projects together. However, I also know that if I’m always meeting that I’m not able to do the follow-up from those meetings and develop the products, deliverables and “deep work” to accomplish our collective priorities. I realize that not everyone has the ability to select when they have meetings; however, when possible, look at the days that most of your meetings already occur and let those be your “meeting days.” Try to limit your meeting days to two-three days per week. If that is not possible, begin scheduling at minimum one day a week that is a “no meeting day.”. I was recently training a group that implemented “No meeting Mondays” for their team. Figure out what works best for you and your situation. This is meant to be your ideal week – not someone else’s ideal week.
So what about you? What day(s) are you going to schedule as “no meeting days”?
If you missed my Facebook Live on this post, check it out here!