The Fastest Way to Get Started
The simplest way to get started with Agile Results is to write down on paper the answer to the following question:
“What Three Outcomes, or what Three Wins, do you want to achieve today?”
Yes, it’s that simple!
By figuring out the three results you want to achieve today, you set the stage for the day.
Three Easy Steps for Agile Results
Agile Results has 3 key parts. To get started with Agile Results system, you can use three easy steps:
- Adopt The Rule of 3 to avoid overwhelm and get mindful about your results.
- Adopt the Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection pattern for weekly results.
- Set boundaries in your Hot Spots to find work life balance.
Step 1. Adopt The Rule of 3
Apply the Rule of 3 to life. Rather than get overwhelmed by your tasks, bite off three things you can accomplish. This puts you in control. If nothing else, it gives you a very simple frame for the day. This will help you get on track and practice the art of ruthless prioritization.
Here’s how you can apply the Rule of 3 to time:
- 3 outcomes for the day
- 3 outcomes for the week
- 3 outcomes for month
- 3 outcomes for the year
An outcome is simply a result that you want to accomplish. Simply identify 3 outcomes. The outcomes at each level support each other and help guide your results. To give your outcomes life, turn them into simple stories. For example, turn “call customer” into “win a raving fan.” Think in terms of 3 stories each day, each week, each month, each year.
Step 2. Adopt the Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, and Friday Reflection Pattern for Weekly Results
The Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, and Friday Reflection pattern is a simple habit for daily and weekly results.
On Mondays, identify 3 outcomes you want for the week.
To support you, consider the following:
- Remind yourself what you learned from last Friday’s reflections.
- Scan your Hot Spots (Note – your Hot Spots include any work projects, personal projects, and your life frame: mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships, and fun.)
- Scan your calendar for any key events for the week.
- Scan my inbox for new information and action items.
As you scan, ask 5 guiding questions:
- “What do I want to accomplish?”
- “What MUST be done? … What SHOULD be done? … What COULD be done?” (all based against what I want to accomplish)
- “What value am I delivering? (Note – in value delivered vs. activity performed and value is in the eye of the beholder … whether it’s value to yourself, your manager, your company, the world … etc.)
- “How am I improving myself in key areas: mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships, and fun?”
- “What are the key things that if I don’t get done … I’m screwed?” (By using the principle of contrast, you paint a picture of where you don’t want to be.)
Ask yourself the most important question … “If this were Friday, what 3 things would I want under my belt?”
When you’re done, you’ll have a good mental picture of the week’s 3 most important outcomes (notice outcomes vs. activity), you know your big risks for the week, and you know my MUSTs vs. SHOULDs vs. COULDs.
Each day is a fresh start. Think of 3 outcomes for your day. It helps to think in terms of simple stories. If you get stuck, a good question to ask is … “What will be my 3 best results for today?”
This is the day where you do your reflection. To do this, ask yourself 2 questions:
- “What are 3 things going well?”
- “What are 3 things to improve?”
As input to this exercise, first scan your Daily Outcomes for the past week. (This is fast if you keep a simple tickler list for each day.) Also, do a quick mental scan of your key accomplishments.
Step 3. Set Boundaries Using Hot Spots
Where do you need to spend your time? What do you need to focus on? Hot Spots are a simple metaphor for thinking about what’s important.
It’s where the action is or should be. More importantly, it’s where your attention, energy, and focus should be. By thinking in terms of Hot Spots, you can imagine a “heat map.” A heat map is simply a bird’s-eye view of what’s important.
Keys to Effective Hot Spots
The keys to effective Hot Spots are:
- See the forest from the trees
- A portfolio of where you invest your time and energy (your life force)
- Balance your life
This is the big picture. It’s how you chunk up your overall time and energy. There are certain areas in life that if you invest in, you get rewarded. On the other hand, if you ignore these categories, you get penalized. Here’s a starter set of categories you can use to think about the areas in your life that need your focus and energy:
Mind includes investing time to learn thinking techniques and keeping your mind sharp.
Body includes investing time in keeping your body in shape. It includes learning patterns and practices for health. The most important basics are eating, sleeping, and working out.
Emotions includes investing time to keep your emotions healthy. It includes learning emotional intelligence and keeping your emotions in check. It’s about learning skills for feeling good.
Career includes activities and projects for your job and your professional services.
Financial includes investing time to learn patterns and practices for building and sustaining wealth.
Relationships includes your relationships at home, work, and life.
Fun includes investing time to for play and doing whatever you enjoy.
By having a set of Hot Spots identified, you can be more deliberate about how you spend your time and energy, as well as the trade-offs you make. You can also focus on finding key patterns and practices that help you improve in these areas.
You should set minimums and maximums for your Hot Spots in terms of time and energy. This keeps you from getting over-invested. Use your Hot Spots to set boundaries. For example, you might set a max on career and a min on relationships, body, and fun.
Min of 3 hrs.
Max of 50 hrs.
Min of 8 hrs.
Min of 3 hrs.
In this case, step one is deciding to spend no more than 50 hours each week on your career hot spot. Now it forces you to bite off only what you can chew. This is how you start improving plate management and pushing back effectively. You can only spread your life force over so much. The categories help support each other. They can also work against each other.
Note that you might need to set the opposite limits. Set your limits and test results. The key is to use boundaries and limits to keep yourself balanced and improve your results.