“Those who trust to chance must abide by the results of chance.” – Calvin Coolidge
I hope your New Year’s Resolutions or goals are going well. For a lot of people I know, they aren’t getting the results they want. Let’s fix that.
One of the best ways to get results is to use a system. Why is that?
Because if you use a system, you can keep tuning it.
But it’s more than that. If you use a system, you don’t have to keep figuring out the basics. You can move up the stack and focus on higher-level issues. Another benefit is that you can chip away at a problem. Few problems withstand sustained effort over time.
The System in a Nutshell
Here is a very simple system, that I use, along with many other, for getting results:
- Monday – Each Monday, write down three results you want for the week. Yes, just three. And write down the “results” you want, not the ‘tasks” of how you’ll get it done.
- Daily – Each day, write down three results you want for that day. Again, identify the ‘results”, not the tasks. If you know what you want to accomplish, you’ll figure out the tasks.
- Friday – Each Friday, ask yourself, “What are three things going well?” and “What are three things to improve?” and write them down.
That’s the Monday Vision, Daily Outcomes, Friday Reflection pattern from my book, Getting Results the Agile Way.
The writing down part is important, even if you lose it. It’s the process. This is a simple, but systematic way to get results. In fact, it might seem too simple, but that’s why it works.
Why the System Works
I’m torn between wanting to tell you a story or give you an example to light this up, but I’m actually going to reveal the magic for now. If you know why the system works, you can better leverage it to unleash your best results. Here are some of the finer points on why this system works:
- It’s pinned to a week. Each week is another chance to test the system.
- It uses The Rule of Three. By sticking with three things, it helps you chunk up your results and make them easier to remember.
- It works with pen and paper. I use an electronic approach. But I’m primarily paper-based. I use sticky notes to write my three things down.
- It’s “outcome” focused. Because you are focusing on three results, you avoid being a “task master.” All of your “tasks” should roll up to your three results or outcomes. These three results are your tests for success for the day, and the beauty is, you decide what those three key things are.
- Meaningful results. This makes you the author of your life. You write your story forward. You define those three results each day, and each week.
- You automatically improve focus, priorities, and time management. Simply by making mindful choices about your results, you’re exercising your focus, priorities and time management. By focusing on the day or the week, you are tuning your time management skills by figuring out what you can bite off that makes sense with the time you’ve got.
- Avoid overload and overwhelm. Rather than get buried under your tasks, you uplevel it. You decide the meaningful results to carve out for the day or the week.
- You can see the forest from the trees. You can zoom into the day, by focusing on your three key results, or your can take a look from the balcony, and focus on your three key results for the week.
- It’s a positive spin. You’re basically empowering yourself and taking ownership of your results. In addition, part of Friday Reflection is shining the light on your personal victories. These quickly add up. Every week.
- Roll with the punches. Things go wrong. This system is all about getting back on your horse, in the simplest way possible. Did you fall off today? Fine … it’s a clean slate. Simply ask yourself, what are three results you want for today, with the time, energy, and resources you’ve got?
- Fresh starts. It’s a fresh start, each day, each week, etc.
- It’s a learning loop. Just by practicing the system
It’s a system I’ve used with many people over many years. It’s worked wonders. The surprise is how effective it is for such a simple system, but the proof is in the results. Take it for a test drive and see whether it helps you whip your day into more meaningful results, improves your energy, and helps you actually achieve more of the things that matter to you.
Keep the test simple and just write down three results you want for today down on paper. That’s it. You’re doing Agile Results.
Here are some additional resources to explore for more information: