I am developing a course on time leadership. We would generally call it time management, but guess what? You have the same amount of time as everyone else and you can’t manage the hours, you can only manage yourself in those hours. And with all of the time management programs out there, we haven’t mastered the concept yet. Leadership however, can be defined as behaviors that have vision, goals and command versus management which implies dealing with or controlling. Time leadership is acting on the decisions you make about your time based on your vision, values and goals. As I review my materials and work with clients, I realize that one of the most important time leadership principles is the weekly review. This comes from David Allen’s Getting Things Done system. The weekly review is a consistent practice of reviewing your inbox, calendar, to-do list, brain dump, goals, finances, leads or anything else that helps you stay on track, reduces your stress and increases your productivity.
My weekly review is done on Friday mornings. I recommend choosing a time in the later part of your week, but not the very end of your week. You don’t want to be doing your weekly review on your Friday at 3 PM and realize that you have something due on your Monday at 8 AM and plans all weekend. I generally do my review on Friday mornings, knowing that I am happy and able to work on the weekends if I need to. Don’t worry, if you follow my Instagram or Ninja Courage Facebook page, you’ll see that I’m a great boss and give myself time off during the week for powder days. If I can’t work the weekend, I might do my weekly review on Thursday afternoon to ensure I have time to complete any projects or tasks that come up.
I encourage you to start your weekly review with a simple one hour look back at the past week’s calendar. Is there anything that you scheduled time to do but didn’t do or didn’t finish? Schedule time in the future for these projects. Do you have any follow up items from meetings or networking events you attended? Put them on your to-do list for next week or schedule the follow up meetings right away. Did you have any great ideas that came up this week that you want to follow up on? Put them in your journal or online notebook to be sure you don’t forget.
The second action for a simple calendar weekly review is to look forward at the next two weeks’ schedule. Make sure you have blocked travel time for meetings, preparation time for meetings, time to eat and other essentials. If you do have preparation time needs for upcoming meetings or projects, block out time on your calendar to complete these tasks. Make sure to block enough time and be realistic. Attending meetings unprepared is a waste of time. I also like to confirm upcoming meetings to be sure that my scheduling is correct. Additionally, I make sure I haven’t over scheduled myself. This makes me edgy and less productive throughout the week. Be sure to leave some time open in your schedule for the unexpected, rest and creative thinking and planning. I schedule my workouts and meditation as well, to ensure that they happen.
The weekly review is a tangible and helpful tool for taking the lead with your time. Start this week and send me an email or connect with me on social media to tell me how it went. Happy reviewing!