Elevate Your Productivity with Weekly Planning and Daily Tactical Meetings
This is the second of a two-part series of articles. Visit my blog to read the first article, Jump Start Q2 with a Personal Quarterly Offsite Meeting.
As highlighted in my previous article, I recommend the QWD Planning Cycle to coaching clients as a way to better establish and achieve their most important goals. It consists of a series of meetings with oneself to ensure follow-through on good intentions. These meetings include the following:
- Quarterly Offsite
- Weekly Planning
- Daily Tactical
After you complete the Quarterly Offsite discussed last week, you’re ready to conduct Weekly Planning and Daily Tactical meetings.
The Weekly Planning Meeting
Here’s your opportunity to set the stage for a productive and fulfilling week. Set aside 30-60 minutes to reflect on the prior week and plan for the next one. Schedule this meeting for the same day and time every week to more quickly establish it as a regular habit.
Some prefer to do this at the end of the workweek (i.e., Friday afternoon), to gain closure and create a fresh start the next week. Others start Monday morning with this activity to jump-start the new week by focusing on top priorities.
I schedule my planning for an hour between attending church and eating dinner on Sundays. I don’t typically work Sunday, but use the weekly planning session more holistically, not just looking at my business but personal life as well. Here’s my typical agenda, which is like the quarterly offsite:
Pray: for divine wisdom as I engage in planning my week.
Reflect: on my personal vision, purpose, and values, as well as the habits and behavioral change I’m working on.
Review: my schedule and notes from the prior week, evaluating progress on both routine tasks and my WIGs (wildly important goals) for the quarter.
Identify: people or projects highlighted for follow up from the previous week’s notes. Often, these are potential new business contacts or opportunities that emerged during the prior week’s conversations.
Prioritize: the most important tasks and projects for completion in the week ahead. I pull these from running lists I keep on 4×6 post-it notes of short and long-term projects. I also capture recurring items such as content development, administrative tasks, and professional development.
Schedule: the top priorities on my calendar for the week. Setting aside specific blocks of time to work on these priorities makes it more likely they’ll get the attention they deserve. That includes time set aside for strategic thinking, to focus on new and better ways to serve clients, as well as potential new business opportunities. I also review my calendar for regular coaching sessions, scheduled meetings, and personal functions, such as daily workouts.
Envision: the joy and fulfillment that comes from a well-planned and productive week.
Anticipate: that not everything will go according to plan and I will need to rely on self-leadership strategies to avoid being derailed by discouragement.
I love the feeling of confidence and clarity that my planning session creates for the week ahead!
The Daily Tactical Meeting
Truthfully, I don’t have the daily tactical meeting dialed in as well as my quarterly offsite or weekly planning sessions. Consider it a work in process. But here’s what I aim for at the start of every day:
Quiet time: to start with prayer, spiritual reading, and reflection.
Schedule review: as a reminder of meetings or appointments that day, as well as time blocks set aside during my weekly planning for top priorities.
Prioritization: to ensure I focus on my highest and best value work, rather than getting caught up in an endless sea of distractions.
Mental practice: to visualize a positive outcome from the day’s activities, and the behaviors, actions, and attitudes necessary to accomplish that.
My daily practice typically takes 15-30 minutes, with the quiet time consuming most of that on my most successful days.
Schedule These Meetings Now!
Nearly all digital calendars have functionality to schedule recurring meetings. Now’s the time to create each of these meetings with yourself. Color code them so they stand out from other scheduled functions. Set up notifications or reminders to ensure you don’t blow past them. Insert your meeting agenda or important points in the description or notes field.
Mark your schedule for July 1 to review your Q2 progress and reset the process again for Q3. You won’t achieve perfection, but you’ll advance beyond what you would have achieved without these proactive steps. Note the progress made and celebrate your success!