I talk with a lot of successful clients. Most of them manage more activities in a day than they should, and we spend time regularly trying to find out what really matters that they CAN control, and we focus on that first.
At the end of the week, lots of loose ends get left undone, and for some of you that is stressful. Nothing leaves you more exhausted at the end of a week than feeling like you could not get everything done. Leaving it only means it is just waiting for you on Monday, when… surprise – more things get added to the pile!
There are a few proven strategies to priority management that we coach and practice, but I’d like to focus on how we finish the week. Michael Hyatt touched on this in his “How Millionaires Manage Their Time” blog. One of his examples is a best practice called “The Friday 15.” Let’s take a look at how Michael presented it:
Practice the Friday 15. This is a system that was introduced to me by my millionaire friend, Hugh Culver. It is a great way reset your week, even though you want to be relaxing or going home early. It sets you up for the next week, so you can be more productive.
[In this exercise] you only have fifteen minutes. The ﬁrst thing I do is look at my plan for the week. [When I do] I see this disaster that started out so beautifully organized. I got a lot of stuff done but a lot of times my list is longer than when I started.
So I looked at that and decided what it is that I can just ﬁnish in a couple of minutes. Because sometimes I just need to return a phone call, pay a bill, or change something on my blog. I get it done!
The second thing I look at is what I want to move to next week or I want to either delegate to the people that I outsource to or that I want to get rid of. So I delegate it or dump it.
Then the third thing is to create a new plan for next week. One of the mistakes we often make when we create a plan or a list is we put everything in there that we hope to do. But our expectations are too high. What I encourage people to do is keep it down to about a dozen things that are really critical for next week and that’s what I call your ﬂight plan. So, just like a pilot taking of, I now know where I need to land. So by Friday those need to be completed.
The last thing that I do is I clean up my area. I put stuff away. I get rid of clutter. I get rid of the Post-It notes, those three felt pens, two pens, and a pencil, because when I come in, I want to feel successful. And I never feel successful if I’m surrounded by clutter. Because clutter is not only a distraction—I look at it, and I think about it!—clutter reminds me I have not completed something.
So when I come in on Monday, I feel successful, I’ve got my ﬂight plan and I’m ready to go. So that’s why I call it your ‘Friday 15.’”
My question is… would this simple proven strategy help you to tie out your week, leave your work with a feeling of accomplishment, and re-enter the work space Monday refreshed to tackle the things that matter most?