Agile Results Refresher for 2017

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image“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it’s not.” — Dr. Seuss

It’s that time of the year to get your rear in gear.

Agile Results is a powerful way to help you do just that.

Agile Results is a simple system for meaningful results.

In essence, Agile Results is a personal growth system for work and life.

This is a quick refresher on the what, the why, and the how of Agile Results.

Realize Your Full Potential the Agile Way

Agile Results combines proven practices for productivity, time management, and personal effectiveness to help you achieve more in less time, and enjoy the process.

You can think of Agile Results as a personal results system that helps you realize your potential, and unleash your greatest potential.

Potential is a muscle that gets better through habits.

What makes it different is that Agile Results is a way to use your best energy for your best results.

Agile Results is also a way to slow down to speed up, find more fulfillment, and put your big, bold ambitions into practice.

You can use Agile Results for work or home or anywhere you need to improve your results in life.

Agile Results is compatible with, and can enhance the results of, any productivity system or time management you already use.  That’s because the foundation of the Agile Results framework is a core set of principles, patterns, and practices for getting better results.

Agile Results is for Achievers, Artists, and All Walks of Life

For achievers, Agile Results helps them be more, do more, and achieve more in their life.

“More what?”, you might ask. More meaning.

For artists, Agile Results helps them do more art, and become productive artists as they share their art with the world.

For anybody who wants more from work and life, Agile Results helps you do anything better by helping you think, feel and do your best in any situation.

It works by helping you create clarity around meaningful outcomes. This creates focus to channel your energy, which creates inspired action.

By focusing on your strengths, you increase your flow of better results.

By staying flexible with an Agile mindset you keep changing in the direction of your goals, while improving your self-awareness.

This creates a more enjoyable journey of learning while doing.

3 Keys to Agile Results

There are three keys to the Agile Results framework:

1. The Rule of 3

The Rule of 3 helps you avoid getting overwhelmed.

It’s also a guideline that helps you prioritize and scope. Rather than bite off more than you can chew, you bite off three meaningful things.

You can use The Rule of 3 at different levels by picking Three Wins for the day, Three Wins for the week, Three Wins for the month, and Three Wins for the year.

This helps you see the forest for the trees since your Three Wins for the year are at a higher level than your Three Wins for the month, and your Three Wins for the week are at a higher level than your Three Wins for the day.

You can easily zoom in and out to help balance your perspective on what’s important, for the short term and the longer term.

2. Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection

Monday Vision, Daily Wins, Friday Reflection is a weekly results pattern.

This is a simple “time-based” pattern. Each week is a fresh start.

On Mondays, you think about three wins you would like for the week.

Each day you identify three wins you would like for the day.

On Fridays, you reflect on lessons learned; you ask yourself, “What three things are going well, and what three things need improvement?”

This weekly results pattern helps you build momentum.

3. Hot Spots

Hot Spots are a way to heat map your life.

They help you map out your results by identifying “what’s hot?.”

Hot Spots become both your levers and your lens to help you identify and focus on what’s important in your life.

They can represent areas of pain or opportunity.

You can use Hot Spots as your main dashboard.  You can organize your Hot Spots by work, personal, and the “big picture” of your life. At a glance, you should be able to quickly see the balls you are juggling and what’s on your plate.

To find your Hot Spots, simply make a list of the key things that need your time and energy.

Then for each of these key things, create—a simple list, a “tickler list” that answers the question, “What do you want to accomplish?”

Once you know the wins you want to achieve in your Hot Spots, you have the ultimate map for your meaningful results.

Think in Three Wins

A simple way that I remember Agile Results is I remember to think in Three Wins:

Think in terms of Three Wins for the Day, Three Wins for the Week, Three Wins for the Month, Three Wins for the Year.

Those are the core habits of Agile Results in a nutshell.

You can start with that and be well on your way to getting better results in work and life.

10 Big Ideas from Agile Results

Here are 10 big ideas from Agile Results that really make it a little different and that help it last a little longer:

1. Three Wins

By carving out and identifying wins you want to achieve, you get intentional about creating compelling outcomes.

When you have compelling wins that you are aiming for, they can help lift you up and “pull” you through your day because they are your personal victories.

2. Fresh Starts

Get a fresh start each day, each week, each month.

It works by “turning the page” each day, each week, each month, each year.

One simple way to implement a Fresh Start is to write a new “To Do” list each day and each week that reflects the three wins you wan to achieve.

3. It’s Outcomes, Not Activities

Don’t confuse activity with results.  It’s easy to spend time on things, but not actually achieve anything.

On the other hand, If you know what you want to accomplish,  in the form of an outcome, then you can focus on that.

Use outcomes as a simple way to “slow down to speed up.”

4. It’s Value, Not Volume

Less is often more, if you know what the value is.   And value is in the eye of the beholder.  Enough said?

5. Energy is Your Force Multiplier

You don’t get more hours in a day.

But you can change your energy.

And, if you use your best energy, you can amplify your impact in powerful ways.

6.  Time is a First-Class Citizen

Time is a great way to prioritize.  For example, there is only so much you can do in a day.

You can use different time horizons to plot out what you’d like to achieve within the time that you actually have.

7. Be the Author of Your Life

With Agile Results, you “write your story forward”, one day at a time, one moment at a time, one story at a time.

You do this by choosing your wins to focus on, and by focusing on the change.

The challenge is in the change, and change is where the value is.
That’s also what stories are made of.

Stories are about the change.

8.  Weekly Rhythm of Results

The Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection pattern is a way to structure your time management and productivity by anchoring it to the week.

The days of the week won’t change anytime soon, so you can use this simple pattern to structure and plan your time management and productivity.

It’s also a great way to create a simple learning loop of continuous improvement.

9. Productive Hours and Creative Hours

If you pay attention during the week, you’ll start to notice that there are recurring patterns of when you are at your creative best, and when you are your most productive.

The key is to identify these times and to better leverage them.  For example, I use my Power Hours as my most productive times of the day.   I can move mountains during these times.

On the other hand,  I use my Creative Hours for creative breakthroughs, to figure out what’s next, or to innovate in some way, shape or form.

It’s some of my best “think time” while I play with ideas.

10.  Productivity is a Personal Thing

It takes time and experimentation to find your flow and get your groove on.

Agile Results is a flexible system for meaningful results.  It’s designed to be “stretch to fit” and easily tailored.

Rather than a rigorous system of rules, it’s a system of principles, values, and a handful of practices.

It’s also designed to be inclusive of other systems.

Most importantly, it’s designed to be easily shaped based on personal preference and style.

Whether you want to be a productive artist or a highly-productive achiever, or simply savor more of life and achieve work-life balance, Agile Results flexes for you and with you.

The key to any system is “just enough process” so that you can adapt it as situations and circumstances change.

Fulfillment, Flexibility, and Focus

Agile Results really helps you live and lead a life of fulfillment, flexibility, and focus.

Agile Results was born to help more people find a path of fulfillment in a practical way.

It’s designed to help you live your values in work and life.

It’s also designed to be flexible.

I’m a fan of Bruce Lee’s philosophy of, “Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own“.   Darwin also taught us that nature favors the flexible.

There’s truth in the saying, “adapt or die.”

Focus is also at the heart of Agile Results.

Focus helps us engage with work and with our life.  It brings out our best.  You’re the director of your life and you can choose what you point your camera at.

Voltaire also comes to mind: “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.”

And again, Bruce Lee reminds us of the power of focus, when he said, ““The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”

The Core Values of Agile Results

When I think a little more on the values that drive Agile Results — the values that breathe life into the Agile Results system — I think of the following values:

  1. Adventure
  2. Balance
  3. Congruence
  4. Continuous learning
  5. Empowerment
  6. Focus
  7. Flexibility
  8. Fulfillment
  9. Growth
  10. Passion
  11. Simplicity
  12. Sustainability

Adventure is a powerful metaphor for life.  It adds the fun factor and it turns problems into challenges.   In life, you can choose a lot of things, from your attitudes to your actions.   Choose your own adventure.

Balance is a way to blend the best of both worlds, such as the game of business, or the business of life.   It’s a way to meld our minds and our bodies and our emotions to bring out our best.  Balance your great up time, with great down time.

Congruence is about living our values and staying true to you.  It’s building a firm foundation versus a house of cards.

Continuous learning is about finding the lessons and turning insight into action.

Empowerment is about putting the world’s best insight and action at your fingertips to help you unleash what you are capable of … in an exponential way.

Focus is about setting your eye on the prize and going for it.   Focus is also about choosing to find the opportunity in any situation.  Focus is about directing your attention to things that empower you, whether it’s focusing on strengths over weaknesses, the future over the past, or the positive over the negative.

Flexibility is ready for anything.  It’s rising above habits and practices that don’t serve you.  It’s about staying open to new ways of looking at things.  It’s about adapting to new situations as the world changes under your feet.  It’s about being an acrobat for life.

Fulfillment is about writing your story forward in a way, where you give your best where you have your best to give, and play to your strengths in a way that shares your gifts with the world.

Growth is about continuously expanding your capabilities.  You grow your ability to take on bigger challenges, and you become something more in the process.

Passion is about being bold, pushing the envelope, and chasing the dreams that make your soul sing.  Passion is the value that races through your veins when you wake up in the morning, ready to face the World, and ready to make your mark.

Simplicity is about the essential.  It’s elegance in action.  It’s economy of motion.  It’s reductionism in action.  Simplicity is about useful, relevant, and intuitive.  Simplicity is about the truths … the timeless principles, patterns, and practices that are enduring over time.  It’s the part that sticks with you, when everything else fades away.

Sustainability is about finding a way forward in a way that is durable and evolvable over time.  Sustainability is about finding your downtime, and responding to “always on” in a way where you can turn it off.  It’s finding your flow.   Sustainability is about fresh starts.   Sustainability is about doing the things that reward, renew, and revitalize you.

Getting Started with Agile Results

The way to get started with Agile Results is simple.

  1. Daily Wins.  Each day, ask yourself what are Three Wins you want for today?   Maybe it’s win a raving fan, maybe it’s finish that thing that’s been hanging over you, or maybe it’s have a great lunch.  You can ask yourself this right here, right now — what are Three Wins you want to accomplish today?
  2. Monday Vision.  On Mondays, ask yourself what are Three Wins you want for this week?  Imagine it was Friday and you are looking back on the week, what are Three Wins that you want under your belt.  Use these Three Wins for the Week to inspire you, all week long, and pull you forward.  Each week is a fresh start.
  3. Friday Reflection.  On Friday, ask yourself, what are three things going well, and what are three things to improve?  Use these insights to get better each week.  Each week is a chance to get better at prioritizing, focusing, and creating clarity around what you value, and what others value, and what’s worth spending more time on.

For bonus, and to really find a path of fulfillment, there are three more habits you can add …

  1. Three Wins for the Month.  At the start of each month, ask yourself, what are Three Wins you want for the month?  If you know your Three Wins for the Month, you can use these to make your months more meaningful.  In fact, a great practice is to pick a theme for the month, whatever you want your month to be about, and use that to make your month matter.  And, when you combine that with your Three Wins, not only will you enjoy the month more, but at the end of the month, you’ll feel a better sense of accomplishment when you can talk about your Three Wins that you achieved, whether they are your private or public victories.  And, if the month gets off track, use your Three Wins to help you get back on track.  And, each month is a fresh start.
  2. Three Wins for the Year.  At the start of the year, ask yourself what are Three Wins you want to achieve for the year?  This could be anything from get to your fighting weight to take an epic adventure to write your first book.
  3. Ask better questions.   You can do this anytime, anywhere.  Thinking is just asking and answering questions.  If you want better answers, ask better questions.  You can exponentially improve the quality of your life by asking better questions.

Get the Book on Agile Results

If you want to really master Agile Results, you can read the book:

Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life

It’s been a best-seller in Time Management and Productivity.

But don’t think of it as yet another productivity book.  It’s really a personal results system.

More importantly, it’s a framework to help you realize your full potential in all aspects of your life … the Agile Way.

Take the Free 30 Day Training on Agile Results

It’s hard to believe that it’s free, but it is (at least for now):

30 Days of Getting Results

It’s some of the best self-paced training you will ever find on how to master productivity, time management, and work-life balance.

Each day is a new outcome with a quick lesson, quick training, and an exercise to help make it real.

Start a Study Group to Take Agile Results to the Next Level

If you want to take Agile Results to the next level, start a study group and share ways that you use Agile Results with each other around how you create work-life balance, create better energy, learn more faster, and unleash your potential, while enjoying the journey, and getting more from work and life.

Share your stories and results with me, with your friends, with your family, anyone, and everyone – help everybody live a little better.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi JD, Thank you for this timely refresher. I love your agile results system. I “fall off the wagon” and can easily climb abord again with Fresh Starts. Happy New Year, Jim

    • Hey Jim, it’s great to have you back on the wagon. Happy New Year and best wishes for an enjoyable year of learning and growth!

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