I have been implementing a system taught by Matthew Kelly in his book Off Balance - Getting Beyond the Work-Life Balance Myth to Personal and Professional Satisfaction. It is a 5 step process. Now I am in step 4, Weekly Strategy Session. In my own words, Weekly Strategy Session is intentionally planning ahead to next week. What do I mean by intentional? I use what I know from previous steps:
- I know specific areas that need attention to increase satisfaction - Step 1.
- I know my priorities - Step 2.
- I know what core habits I want to cultivate - Step 3.
Therefore, I can formulate a typical "to do list" with a difference - I can make better choices. Here are some examples to illustrate what I mean:
I have some time sensitive projects:
- Clients' compilations
- Preparation for small group
- Blog posts
And some important items that need to be done:
- Help Ryan with domain name issues
- Self study training to grow professional skill-set
And some appointments:
- Church on Sunday - new time for summer
- Get Ryan and Grace to youth group events
- Extended family graduation open houses
These are all consistent with 1, 2, and 3 above. Other potential items did not make the list such as mountain biking in southern Indiana and others' open houses.
So, now I am ready to plug them into my calendar. I know I am a morning person. Accordingly, I will do well to plan to do the heavy duty stuff first thing, instead of piddling around checking e-mails.
- Friday, June 1, 6:30pm - host small group. Preparation already done.
- Saturday, June 2 - morning coffee with Darling Bride. Mulch after breakfast.
- Sunday, June 3 - Church on Sunday! Confirm youth choir rehearsal for youngest son (4pm). Write blog post about educational value of mulching to post at Do It Yourself High School blog.
- Monday, June 4, office - Clients' compilations first thing BEFORE non-essential e-mails and self study training.
- Monday evening, home - outdoors activity, help Ryan with domain name issues.
- Tuesday, June 5, office through Friday - same as Monday, but more flexibility in handling unexpected items (putting out fires, new assignments...)
- Tuesday evening - outdoors activity
- Wednesday evening - Ryan and Grace to youth group, 1st meeting of summer (I forgot about this one until I proofread this post!). Good time to work on next series of blog posts.
- Thursday evening - Grocery shopping if not already done
- Friday evening - Ryan to youth group event
- Saturday, June 9 - Graduation open house
- Sunday, June 10 - Next Weekly Strategy Session
- Lunch hours - work on blog posts, read others' blogs.
Typically, only 7 days would be planned out, but this week I'm getting a head start.
The final step is Quarterly Review, just like performance reviews at work, except I review myself. Matthew Kelly emphasizes accountability (he says on page 135, "Accountability brings out the best in me.") And I agree. It is one thing to make a promise to myself. I am very forgiving of my shortcomings. Another thing to be accountable on a blog. Google Analytics and Feed Burner tell me you are out there, whoever you are. Thank you!
Still another to have coffee with Darling Bride in a few months, around Labor Day weekend, and show her. But you read it here first, it is on my calendar for discussion during a quite time over the long weekend!
Conclusion: I am glad I found this book at the library. Its primary strength is that it is a short book with specific steps to implement.
As previously written, I am not affiliated with or being compensated in any way for writing about this book. This is all on my own initiative.