“Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor.” — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
When it comes to creating a schedule that really helps you find your flow and operate at a higher level, with deeper levels of fulfillment, joy and happiness, while exploring and realizing your full potential, it’s not as elusive as it may sound.
I think a mindset, skillset, and toolset will help you here.
A great starting point is to think in terms of setting up a personal results system for flowing value. So many studies show we are happier when we *feel* productive.
It’s also key to remember that value is in the eye of the beholder (and stakeholder). You will need to learn deeply what you value, what your team values, what your customers value, etc.
The good news is that value is the ultimate short-cut.
How many people create a bunch of things nobody wants or spend time doing things nobody cares.
Value is also the lens of enlightenment.
The Challenge of Achieving a Productive and Fulfilling Life
When you establish your personal results system, your challenge is to achieve the following:
- Focus on outcomes over activities
- Enjoy the journey
- Invest in all important categories of your life
- Spend more time in your strengths, less time in your weaknesses
- Give your best where you have your best to give
To put this all together, you need a simple system for meaningful results.
I developed Agile Results for this purpose. It’s a simple framework to help you be more, and achieve more, while realizing your full potential, enjoying the journey, and continuously learning and adapting to the world around you.
The Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection Pattern
You can start Agile Results by simply using the Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection pattern:
- On Monday, ask yourself, “What are my Three Wins I want to achieve this week?”
- Each day, ask yourself, “What are my Three Wins I want to achieve today?”
- On Friday, ask yourself, “What are Three Things going well, what are Three Things to improve?”
This is how you become the author of your life and write your story forward.
By working backwards from the end-in-mind, you will be creating incredible clarity and generating amazing energy.
This will also put a firm foundation in place to help you create and deliver compelling victories.
Your focus on your Three Wins will pull you forward for the week, and pull you forward each day.
And by doing regular Friday Reflection, you will develop deep self-awareness, learn your strengths, and learn where to make changes for better results.
The Power of the 3 Wins Way
Think in terms of 3 Wins for your day, your week, your month, your quarter, your year:
- 3 Wins for Today
- 3 Wins for This Week
- 3 Wins for This Month
- 3 Wins for This Year
Part of what makes the 3 Wins so powerful, is when you connect them to your personal values.
For example, if you like to learn, don’t just do a task, use it a chance to master your craft. If you like customer impact, don’t just call back a customer, “Win a raving fan.” If you like adventure, don’t just do your project, lead an epic adventure.
This is how you turn your chores into your chances.
They are your chances to realize your full potential while living your values.
Design a Strong Week (Power Hours + Creative Hours)
Another pattern (or tool) is what I call Strong Week.
A Strong Week is a week where you spend more time in your strengths and less time in your weaknesses.
The hallmark of a Strong Week is finding your flow while recharging and renewing with skill.
The backbone of a Strong Week is your Power Hours and Creative Hours. Power Hours are where you are at your peak performance. They are where you have your best energy. Use your best energy for your best results.
Creative Hours are where you have time and space to think. They are the quiet times where you can dream up new ideas, innovate in your approach, and disrupt yourself.
Use your calendar to schedule appointments with yourself. Protect and leverage your Power Hours and your Creative Hours to bring your best ideas to life and to grow in your strengths and to advance in your capabilities.
This is how you become the architect of your time and design your time for better flow.
Build Better Bookends Into Your Day and Your Week
You build a stronger week by building better bookends into your week. You need bookends for your week.
The bookends for your week are Monday Vision and Friday Reflection.
You need bookends for your days. The bookends for your day are your Startup Routines and Shutdown Routines.
To develop better startup routines and shutdown routines, you need to pay attention to your catalysts and drains. Which people or tasks, give you juice, and which people or tasks suck the life force out.
A little awareness goes a long way.
Design intentional Startup Routines and Shutdown Routines that help you stay charged and renew your energy when you need it most.
A tip here is what I call Worst Things First. While you want to build momentum with some quick wins, it’s also important to do the worst things first so they don’t loom over you, or so that you don’t try to tackle them when you have low energy.
Life Hot Spots Framework
One more big idea that helps you set context for everything you do and helps you keep a balcony view is what I call the Life Hot Spots Framework.
It’s a set of categories that reflect important dimensions in your life. Here is a starter set:
That’s just a starter set. Add or modify categories that are important to you (for example, Spiritual.)
By regularly reviewing those categories, you have a bird’s-eye view of how you are spending your time, energy, and attention.
You can establish minimums and maximums in terms of time to spend. Ask yourself where are you over-invested or under-invested?
For some people, they don’t spend enough time in their body or on their relationships. Some people spend too much time in career, and not enough in body or fun.
You get the idea.
Be the Author of Your Life and Write Your Story Forward
So to recap, by using Agile Results as your personal results platform, you can realize your potential, while learning and adapting along the way, spending more time in your values, and giving your best where you have your best to give.
Remember your tools from Agile Results:
2. Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection
2. Strong Week
3. Life Hot Spots Framework
Rise and shine.
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