My daughter came in to the bedroom earlier this morning excitedly waving her notepad at me and declaring “I have planned out my morning”! As you can see from her to-do list – she had indeed planned her morning. She duly followed through with her plan and had a successful day! Now this fits smack bang in the middle of my philosophy that life is too short, or time too precious, not to be the best that you want to be #btbtywtb. As leaders in organisations you are role models for how others choose to act and behave, do you set an example that is worthy of following?
A couple of things struck me at the time. The first being how energised and motivated she was; she empowered herself through being organised and controlled. She had balanced things she wanted to do with things that she ‘had to do’ in a way that ensured that she was able to stay focused on the tasks that matter and therefore deliver! The second was the very fact that she had scheduled ‘nice things’ i.e. finish watching the Danger in the Manger from the night before and was very clear about the impact of finishing her list….. “rest of the day free!”. This made me think – I am definitely one for ‘to-do’ lists, but, I never put on the list something that would be a pleasure or a reward, even though I may well be thinking about it. For example, as I write this after a full Sunday morning working, I am eagerly anticipating getting out with the dog for some fresh air; however, why do I not schedule it and give it the level of importance the other elements on ‘the list’ clearly have?
On a similar vein, a recent article by blogger Sean Kim, explored the concept of the ‘Not to-do List’! This is something I have been talking about for a while, to myself and anyone that will listen. It seems that in our busy lives we continue to take on more and more, the same can be said for the corporate world too; I have yet to work with a client organisation that is as good at stopping things as they are at starting them. I am sure that we are all very clear about what distracts us and where our efforts could be easily directed without delivering on what is important. This is worth capturing and focussing on with the same level of focus and determination that Maisy showed with her ‘to-do list’.
Which brings me on to another bit of wisdom I learnt in the tea plantations of Sri Lanka (sounds a bit Wilfred Thesiger) – the power of the 11 point day! A colleague Omar Khan, in his NLP based Mastery of Self workshops, shared this approach and I would share it with you. The concept is to try and ensure that each day is at least 10 points out of a potential 11 – points are earned as follows.
- Reflecting on your purpose and planning what will move you towards it today (1 points)
- Pre play – ‘imagineering’ how the day (or crucial elements of the day) will go, visualising for success (1)
- Feared Things First (FTF) – tackling things that you fear, are dreading and don’t want to do, they sap energy and are never as bad as we make out so nail them early! (1)
- Bottom lines – delivering the absolute priority / must do / non-negotiable things for you, for work and for others (3)
- Energy – some exercise or nutrition or rest decisions that help you grow (2)
- Mentoring – taking time out to guide and help someone else formally or informally (1)
- Ah Ha!! – moments of insight gleaned through reading, reflecting or sharing (1)
- Re- play – replaying the successes from the day and amplifying what you have achieved and what went well to set you up for tomorrow. (1)
Food for thought for me and for you – now time to walk the dog! J