One of the biggest worries we hear about Togetherness that it feels too rigid, too structured, too . . . [insert your own adjective here]. Which is why it is such a treat to see the flexibility we hope to preach in action. We lead our Together Trainings with the loud and clear fitness mantra Your Body, Your Ride. We want you to think about how you best work (What? When? Where? Paper? Digital? Stationary? Mobile?) and adapt our practices from there! #findwhatfits
While leading a 250-human Together Webinar last week, I reconnected with my old colleague, Leslie, who works part-time for Rice University in Houston as the Associate Director for the Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership. I practically fell over when she sent me this after our training:
First of all, GRAPH PAPER NOTEBOOK! I’m a huge, HUGE lover of graph paper; lately, I’ve been personally enamored with these. But I digress. Let’s look deeper into this flexible, post-it note, graph paper Weekly Worksheet model. Sidenote: Leslie has three medium-sized children at home, who are hybrid or remote schooling right now. Hence the midday Kid Time block. Trust me, I get that.
Leslie tells us:
“I am a 100% What-er. I’ve been a list-maker for as long as I can remember. I jumped on the Bullet Journal train a few years ago. I find it soothing to get all of my “Whats” out of my brain and on paper. I always get the critical things done…eventually…but I don’t plan or prioritize my time very well. I am also an Enneagram 2 (The Helper!) — I say ‘Yes’ to way too many things and then just add them to my list!”
What-ers REJOICE! Exactly. We just . . . make a long list and . . . ummmm. . . hope for the best!
In the past, Leslie reports she was not super successful at getting her Whats and Whens to match up. She let us in on how her process has evolved, step by step:
1. After the Together Leader session, I really sat and thought about how I could put my Whats and my Whens together. I started with my Outlook calendar and transferred all of my appointments into my planner.
2. Then I used my monthly to-do list to come up with my Must-Dos and my Nice-to-Dos for the week. I created mini post-it notes (a one-hour size and a two-hour size; I think two hours is my maximum productivity block) and added them to the spaces in between, putting the Must-Dos earlier in the week and earlier in the day, when my energy is better. (Did I actually measure out the time blocks and chop up my post-its with a mini paper cutter? Um, yes, I did. But I also ordered mini post-its so I won’t have to do that next time!)
3. If things start going off the rails and I need to be flexible, I can pull a Nice-to-Do from later in the week and replace it with a Must-Do. That way I don’t lose track of anything critical. I can also lock down my calendar for the end of the week to make sure I get to those tasks.
4. And I’ll just hang on to the Nice-to-Do post-it for next week. I also like that if one of my meetings/appointments get cancelled, I can schedule right over it with a Nice-to-Do post-it instead of wasting that time. Fingers crossed!
So, you What-ers prone to overcommitting and eternal optimism, how about it? Or you post-it note + graph paper lovers? What have you done to both be aware of time constraints AND retain maximum flexibility?