Yesterday I wrote about slowing down to the speed of intention (prioritising and planning). But how do you stay at that speed? How do you resist the temptation of the reactive?
I’m certainly open to ideas on this. My own attempts are still work in progress.
There are a number of tools and approaches that I think are helpful here. I’ve written before about my preference for a hand-written to do list. I recently came across Cal Newport’s approach to daily planning. I like the combination of diary and to do list (handwritten). I particularly like the commitment to blocks of time for specific tasks and deep work.
I’m currently dabbling with a similar approach. My tasks descriptors are a bit more expansive than Cal’s – all starting with a verb. I’m also using colour to monitor the success of my plan.
I’m also experimenting with my working environment in an effort to minimise distractions (when appropriate). For me, this includes closing down Outlook to resist the temptation to check e-mail. (I have designated slots for that purpose!). Also, part of being agile means that I can change my location. This requires a bit of intention, and resisting the comfort zone of ‘my usual place’.
As an aside, there are times when ‘distractions’ are an important part of being a team member and manager. My ‘distraction’ is someone else’s priority. So, being available is important – provided that you control it.
You can find some other nuggets on this approach in this article by Steven Handel.