First Things First: a weekly alignment espresso that’ll look after both you and your goals

XX Having closed out my time with the RSA (2010-13 notes here), I today found myself with my very first Monday morning of what is a new beginning.

To help bring some structure to the office-less life, I created myself a small to-do list for future Mondays – and although it is rather personal, I thought I’d share it here in case it is of use to anybody else:

Strategic grounding

// align with personal goals – make sure your intent is front of mind before you try and sort through the rest

  • Check organisational goals – yes, read them out. Aloud. I do. (You may however not want to do this in the carriage of a train or, say, on a busy double-decker).
  • Check personal goals (the source of sanity for many) – and for me it is about looking after my curiosity – one example being the culinary, whether cooking or coffee. From the act of foraging through preparation and enjoyment through to what happens next:  associated documentation through writing, photography / timelapses / book reviews and other opinions etc.). It is essential for me to make time for that throughout the week and with a bit of creativity one can do both this and what must be done to keep the wheels on the bus (preparing proposals, paying bills).

Practical action

// align with the people who matter – through LinkedIn / Facebook / G+ etc. (and email)

  • Check upcoming birthdays – hoping to become better at this
  • Who’s got a new gig? Congratulate accordingly and offer help if relevant – and don’t forget to thank / endorse those who have helped you
  • Event list
  • Check key pages to stay on top of things
  • Only then attack email as that would otherwise distract from the above (at least for me)

// align time so it turns from chaos into cadence – by getting the calendar right

  • The week ahead – spend a moment really letting it sink in what needs to be done – reconfirm appointments as appropriate
  • The month ahead – gaps/opportunities? Things that can be combined for better effect?
  • The quarter ahead – as above
  • The long term plan – does this help contribute to where things need to be in one (in specific), three (in the broader sense), five (conform to core personal values and principles)

At this point, adjust your editorial calendar – accordingly and pour yourself another coffee: you’re off to a good start.

Rinse and repeat every Monday morning.

Michael Ambjorn is founder of // Align Your Org – you can follow him @michaelambjorn for a dose of all of the above. You can also join the conversation: #ALIGN.


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