Looking up and outwards: Reflecting on the final push

Mount Etna at dawn - the mount is against a blue and yellow sky with the sun just rising - smoke is gently rising from the mount.I’ve really tested the ways in which I can work this year – been away for weeks at a time (well, two weeks at one time!), worked flat out day and night on a single project, multi-tasked  four or five projects like a juggler on a unicycle. And now I am at home for three days in a row to rest, reflect and refocus before diving back in for the final push up into the end of July. 

On our very first Clore retreat, Michael Day, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces described his ways of working and his amazing results. I can remember asking him at the end of his session how he divided his time to make sure he got everything done – how did he prioritise? He said he divides it into thirds.

  • One third to getting the work that needs to be done, done
  • One third to working with staff – supervising, mentoring, guiding…
  • And one third to future planning – what next?

I was surprised. I think prior to this year I probably spent about 80% of my time available ‘doing stuff’ and about 20% dealing with crisis as they arose. I’d suddenly reach the end of one section of work and realise I’ve not thought fully about what I should be doing next.

Now I don’t have ‘staff’ as it were, so I have had to be creative, so this is my model for the three days that I have to work from home:

  • One third to do the work that needs to be done
  • One third to the relationships within the projects I am involved in and that sustain the work I do.
  • And one third to future planning – what next for me?

It won’t be as simple as day one, day two and day three, but I am planning to carve out blocks of time and to stick to them – lets see how it goes!

Photo thanks to gnuckx (its Mount Etna at dawn) and remember if you have enjoyed this and want to read more, you can subscribe to Jo Verrent’s blog by email.

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