No MBA mumbo-jumbo, just stuff that's worked through 30 years of team-building in business and the military.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Use Your Calendar For Success

In my last post I included the John Maxwell quote, “Success lies in your daily schedule,” and I promised to share how I use my calendar. So here’s what my weekly planning, which I do on Friday afternoons, looks like.

First, I have critical self-management activities permanently blocked on my schedule. These include times for planning, review, reading, and my faith. 

To start planning next week, I review the calendar to make sure all events are on it. I include my personal and family schedules. I also scan over the next month, to make sure this week prepares me and my team for what’s coming.

Next, I review and tweak the priorities of my work. Two of my top priorities are always coaching and what I call evangelizing, which is repeatedly reinforcing my vision for the future. I schedule time for my top priorities during the first three days of the coming week, including walk-arounds and time I want to spend with line employees on the plant floor. I leave Thursdays and Fridays as open as I can, because Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday won’t actually go as I planned, so I’ll need time to catch up.

Last, I review the calendar to be sure it’s appropriately balanced. To make this step easy, I use color coding to ensure that all of my team and my family have the right amount of time on my schedule. 

At the end of each day, I spend ten minutes reviewing what actually happened against what I’d planned, and I make necessary adjustments to the next day.

Here’s why it works for me: I don’t have to think about what to do or how to fill time. Every hour is blocked for something. If I just follow my calendar, I’ll do all the right things for success. 

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