When I was a boy, my dad had a bit of a control thing going on and would not let me touch any of his tools or do any of the practical ‘handyman’ jobs around the house. I guess he worried that I would not do the jobs properly, and he always went by the adage that if you want a job done well, do it yourself. It turns out I am actually quite handy, and love pottering about with a screwdriver, a saw or a paintbrush.
One of the jobs I desperately wanted to be able to do when I was about ten years old was to cut the grass with our new petrol lawnmower. But of course, there was no way that dad was going to let me near his gleaming red mower. I did not give up. I pestered and pestered him for months until one day, he decided that maybe I was old enough to take on the job of cutting the grass each week.
How excited was I? He gave me a lesson, and off I went around our lawn, happy as Larry. So, this became my job. But of course, after a few weeks I was bored with the glamour of cutting grass, and much preferred to be out on the road, kicking ball with my mates. Now my dad had to pester me about when I was going to cut the grass. Eventually he gave up and started to cut it himself again. I guess he was right – if you want a job done well, do it yourself!
Many people come to our team wanting to boost their productivity. They want to know all the strategies, and all the tips and tricks that will help them to get focused, organised and in control. I often finish my personal productivity sessions with a weekly planning strategy that I call a Weekly ROAR (Review, Organise, Anticipate, Realign). It usually resonates with the audience, with many appreciative nods of approval. But I suspect that like my grass cutting, people give it a go for a week or two and then get bored. They stop doing the ROAR because it is not sexy, and it requires time each week and some deep thought. Even though they found it very valuable when they did it. When we get busy, it is so easy to leave behind the disciplines that serve us most.
So, if you are not investing time each week in a solid weekly planning strategy, think about my dad. He passed away over twenty years ago, but he is out there somewhere, looking down at all of us, thinking that if you want a job done properly, you need to do it yourself! This would irritate him enormously, so please be disciplined about your weekly planning.