If you read my last blog post (Help! I’m way off course…get me back on track!), you know that I’m endeavoring to make some changes in my life by treating my personal development as I would a project at work. As part of that process, I am accountable to this blog. I have committed to periodically provide an update for how it’s going and what I’ve learned and what has or has not worked. If I were to grade my process thus far, it would be a solid C. Luckily, I’m an eternal optimist and feel I can always improve. I also know that positive change not only takes time but mulitple course-corrections along the way.
The reason I give myself a C is due to the fact that although I have been working each day to build my plan, since I last wrote, I had a real “emergency” with the PTA. Our fundraising chair resigned, we have an auction planned for April, and haven’t really started besides picking a date. Hundreds of tasks needed to be done yesterday, we had no one at the helm, and we were three months behind the 8-ball. So, as this unplanned emergency came up, how did I deal with it?
1. I had to determine if this was truly a priority that warranted deviating from my plan. The answer was yes. We didn’t know where we were with fundraising dollars, our school is depending on income generated from this auction to support deficits in its budget as well as an important and game-changing process called “The Leader in Me” (a whole school leadership process developed by Franklin Covey, the creator of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). More on that another time (as that is worth it’s own series of blog posts)….Back to the topic at hand, long story short, the crisis we were in did necessitate my undivided and the rest of the PTA boards’ attention…for a period of time.
2. I set a deadline for how long to allow this deviation to take priority. I told my husband (as he is my accountability partner) and myself that I would allow this emergency to take top priority for 2 weeks. In my experience, these type of issues need at least 10-14 days to help get them back on track (in a work environment, it may be longer but the key directional changes can usually be made within that timeframe). Because we had very limited time to get this auction back on track, I knew I would need to adjust my personal plan to allow more time to work on auction activities. However, I resolved to only allow this issue to trump all other activities for a maximum of 2 weeks.
3. At that two week mark, I assessed whether I could get back to my original plan. I felt good about the progress we had made with auction tasks and the direction we were going so, it was time to refocus on my plan. As you may recall, my 2016 goal was To Be More Disciplined, which to me meant:
- To set a flexible schedule and consistently revisit and reassess
- To take better care of myself
- To manage our money more effectively
To get back on track, I revisited my schedule and tasks for the upcoming week. I surveyed the entire week ahead and planned out what I would focus on each day, spreading out my tasks to ensure I built in time for the priorities I listed above. As you recall from my prior blog post, I was going to try to avoid boiling the ocean or tackling everything at once. So this meant for this first month I would only focus on the act of creating and revisiting my weekly plans, making sure I reserved sufficient space for the things that renew me: adequate and consistent sleep, exercise, writing, and quiet time.
Going back to grading myself at a C, I feel I’ve been successful at building the plan and sticking with it at a high level. However, I have fallen short in the consistent sleep and exercise category. I have also struggled with staying on track. So, this next month, I’m going to focus on what is working and where I have made process and make sure I’m doing those things consistently. I don’t need to be perfect, I just need to be making progress. The progress I have made is more in my mental state. I feel more in control with planning out my week and making time for my priorities.
Although I’ve fallen short, I have still made progress: setting a schedule and revisiting it, getting more hours of sleep, and exercising more days. I haven’t met my targets but am improving. For now, that is good enough. As Voltaire once said, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.”