Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection

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This is the heart of the Agile Results system.

It’s a pattern I call Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection. It’s probably the single most important thing I teach everybody I mentor. It’s the same approach I use to lead myself and my teams. It’s a way to help set yourself up for success each day. It’s also a way to keep learning and growing. It’s simple, but it’s powerful. In fact, it’s power is its simplicity. Here’s the rhythm of results in more detail …

How To Use the Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection Pattern

  1. On Mondays, you identify the three outcomes you want for the week.
  2. Each day you identify the three outcomes you want to accomplish.
  3. On Friday, you reflect on three things going well and three things to improve.

It’s that simple.

Monday Vision

Each week is a fresh start. On Mondays, I identify 3 outcomes (or results) I want for the week. To do this:

  • I remind myself what I learned from last Friday’s reflections.
  • I scan my Hot Spots (my hot spots include my work projects, personal projects, and my life frame (mind, body, emotions, career, financial, relationships, and fun).
  • I scan my calendar for any key events for the week.
  • I scan my inbox for new information and action items.

As I scan, I use 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 acocmplish)
  • What value am I delivering? (I measure in value delivered vs. activity performed and value is in the eye of the beholder ... whether it's value to myself, my manager, the 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, I paint a picture of where I don’t want to be.)

The most important question I ask myself is, “if this were Friday, what 3 things would I want under my belt?” I know I’m done when I have a good mental picture of the week’s 3 most important outcomes (notice outcomes vs. activity), I know my big risks for the week, and I know my MUSTs vs. SHOULDs vs. COULDs.

Daily Outcomes

Each day is a fresh start. I think of 3 outcomes for the day. I may have a bunch of activities and tasks, but I think of the 3 most important results I want for the day. By figuring out 3 outcomes for the day, I can easily prioritize all of my action items. The 3 outcomes are also my tests for success. It’s how I set myself up for a great day. It’s also how I pick myself back up if I fall off the horse. Imagine each day figuring out the 3 best things you can do, and actually working on them. It’s simple and effective.

Friday Reflection

This is the day where I do my reflection. To do this, I ask two questions:

  • What are 3 things going well?
  • What are 3 things to improve?

As input to this exercise, I first scan my Daily Outcomes for the past week. (This is fast for me because I have a simple tickler list for each day) . I also do a quick mental scan of my accomplishments.

It’s a Simple Pattern for Results

Well, that’s the heart of the approach. What I like most about this approach is that it’s low-overhead and it works. I’ve done away with over-engineered approaches, where you die the death of a 1000 paper cuts in administration. I also like this approach because it’s systematic, yet holistic and flexible. Basically, it’s designed for getting real results, in real life.

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