I recently read an interesting blog called ‘7 questions to end your week with’. I’ve adapted the questions for managers because you know as well as I do that as a manager, there’s a danger that you’re so busy, you don’t have time to pause and reflect. These questions put that right:
What pleasant surprises did I discover this week? Answering this question will improve your mood and make you generally happier. It may also give you some valuable insights into the way your organisation, your team or team members work and help you avoid blind spots. Luck favours the prepared mind, as they say, and many a scientific discovery and valuable innovation are the result of unexpected discoveries.
What lessons have I learned that I can build on next week? Think about what worked and what didn’t work and extract what is useful. That’s how you innovate and improve.
Did my efforts align with my long-term goals? Be alert to spending too much time on unimportant activities. You want to focus on high value-adding activities that move you toward your own and your organisation’s goals.
What could I have spent more or less time doing? This question links with the previous question. Commit to acting upon your answers.
How did fear and uncertainty affect what I did and didn’t do? Change swirls around most organisations and change is threatening to most people. Add to that the fact that we’re operating in uncertain times and we have a pretty good recipe for paralysis, making it easy to take no action and avoid decisions, rather than take the wrong action or make the wrong decision. Deciding and acting can be difficult, but it’s better than standing still. When you get it wrong, you can always try something else.
What mental clutter can I clear? Answering this question means you won’t carry excess baggage into next week. Did you make a mistake? Move on. Have a disagreement with someone? Move on. Forgive yourself; forgive others; carry into next week only what is most useful in terms of lessons and memories worth keeping.
What is the first thing I need to do next week? Know what your priorities are so that you can get straight to work on them.