Does being in your role feel like a bit of a whirlwind where everything’s urgent and a little out of control? You’re swamped with emails, meetings and other requests for your time. As a result, your big strategic projects aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Sound familiar?
Here’s the thing. The whirlwind isn’t going to change. The whirlwind is the constant business as usual activity that is your role. So what then, can change?
The answer is YOU.
You can’t control time, but you can control what you do with it and what you say yes and no to. You also control how you perceive your workload and how you experience the ‘whirlwind’.
On a daily or weekly basis, how do you decide what to focus on? What criteria do you use to prioritise what you do? How effective is that?
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” Steve Jobs.
The antidote to the whirlwind and playing a bigger game isn’t sexy or cool. It boils down to your:
And it starts with you. The thing that combines all of the above seamlessly is a rolling 90 Day Plan.
Why? Because a 90 Day Plan is a blueprint to narrow your focus. People generally have 10+ goals on the go and spread themselves too thin across them all. By focusing on your top 2-3 Top Priority Goals every quarter and investing 20% (+-) of your time outside your day to day on these goals, you’ll then track progress against Monthly Milestones and Weekly Top 5 (tasks) to keep on track.
It’s better to achieve a few big things really well than a lot of things not very well
Why a rolling 90 Day Plan makes good sense
- Goals and priorities can change in a year. Annual plans are often high level and far out in terms of time and urgency. Smaller 90-day time windows create urgency in a good way, for example, if you wait three weeks to get started on a key project, you only have 69 days left and the clock is ticking. What you do this week then counts big time.
- At the end of the year you will have a strong case for your performance over and above business as usual results
- You can infuse the 90-day performance cycle process into your team to get everyone on the same page on the big ticket team items with a scoreboard to measure progress.
- The 90 day ‘reset’ cycle allows a great opportunity to negotiate and align with your boss on the big win priorities and support you need, rather than getting bogged down in the day to day detail.
- Choosing your focus gives you a sense of control and criteria for saying yes and no to other things.
I received this feedback recently:
“The 90 Day Plan process is great for helping everyone see progress and stay focused. We have five annual goals with success measures from which we do our 90 Day Plan and then break down into individual monthly goals. It has been working brilliantly”. Senior Manager, Health Insurance Company
What’s the catch? (If you were wondering?)
The biggest challenge in rolling 90 Day Plans is people having to be 100% accountable and responsible. As with anything, great intentions don’t achieve great results – committing and doing what it takes to consistently achieve does.
What help do you need to transition to a rolling 90-day planning cycle for you and/or your team? Lets talk about where you’re at and the potential to lean into a bigger game.