Last year, my son and I were on the ski slopes. I never really got past the beginner stage, having to relearn skiing every year. My son is natural talent. He zips down the slopes with ease, but at the time he had just switched from skis to snowboards. We talked about the challenges of the switch; one is how to turn. On a snowboard (IIRC) you turn by shifting your weight from one edge of the board to the other and leaning into the turn. Even though this shifting feels wrong to you as a skier, you still have to do it, otherwise you won't make the curve, and you will probably land on your nose! Or as Maximilian said, "You have to commit to the curve!"
When I started doing "Personal Agility", the biggest change was focusing on things that mattered. And it worked, gloriously... At the end of last year, I thought, wow what a great year! At work, I have been able to create and introduce new products. In my family, we many accomplished important things. We'd never had a year like that! So let's celebrate, right? And my book...?
What I have not been able to do is get the book written. Even though I am reminding me to be nice to myself, it is still frustrating not to have made much progress. In fact, it is really frustrating!
Today I found myself staring at my Priorities Map, with so much to do and no idea what to do next – What now? My Priorities Map was overflowing, I was even adding columns to manage all the stuff I could do while trying to maintain some overview. But I had now idea what to do. I want to make progress
I decided to take a look at my breadcrumb trail to look at what I had been prioritizing. This is my what really matters column look like:
When I look at my Breadcrumb Trail, I see a different pattern:
Priorities as reflected by what I got done.
So clearly, I am spending most of my time on “Running my Business” and Personal Agility is a distant third.
“You have to commit to the curve.”
Clearly I have not committed to the curve.
I reset my Priorities Map. I moved everything that is not done into the Forces Map. This has one column each for topic that really matters, plus a few other themes that matter, though they are less important things, like planned improvements to my course books, that need visibility.
Now I sorted each column by importance… basically the order I want to do them in. Then I moved a few cards (10 actually) back on to the Priorities map. Commit to the curve? Damn right. The first items I pulled were from the Personal Agility column! Then a few for business, then one or two for the family.
Which one to do first? The first priority is Personal Agility, so a Personal Agility item is at the top of the list. (That's actually a slightly harder question than it looks, but more on that in my next post.) And you'll be hearing about the results of my first item shortly!
Edit: I had the before and after "what really matters" column switched. -- fixed
Peter - I commend you on your VULNERABILITY in sharing your maps with us! It is illuminating to see how the Product Owner of the Personal Agility product “walks the talk”! When you celebrated and chose, asking the 6 questions, if you don’t mind sharing, what was your answer to the “who can help” question?
That is a really good question, @soundslikeryan!
Some time ago, I had asked myself who can help, and I my answer was "someone who can help me with course administration." So someone is now helping with with course admin. While I think that getting that help was a good thing, it did not fix the underlying problem of saying "a" is important while actually prioritizing "b." So I did not use the newly freed time to work on a, but rather b.
What is the lesson here? As a side effect of having too much to do, I did not do the celebrate and choose with my coach that regularly. So I would go long periods without reflecting on how what I do serves what really matters. (Travel is bad for you! ;-).
The other lesson is about the celebration coach. The celebration coach helps you look at how what you did reflects what really matters? Are there discrepancies between what you say really matters and what your actions say what really matters? That question is just as valid when celebrating as when choosing! If there is a discrepency, that means you are getting off course, and the best thing your coach can do is help you recognize that. Then you can decide that you want to get back on course (or set a new destination ;-)!