How to cope with all the tasks for the year in just 12 weeks?
Not so long ago, as a member of the SmartProgress community , I came across the 12 Weeks of the Year program. The idea intrigued me so much that I immediately went in search of additional information and on Amazon open spaces I found a book directly related to this program: “12 weeks a year. How to do more in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months ”(original title: The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months ). Who doesn’t want to take their annual plan and “squeeze” it up to 12 weeks, and most importantly - to realize everything that has been planned for such a short period of time?
The beginning of the year is the right time to summarize the past year and draw up plans for the coming year. This time I decided to be inspired by fresh ideas, as my “classical” planning with my husband did not fully suit us. Therefore, I set off in search of interesting solutions on the vast expanses of the Internet. However, I found what I was looking for much faster than I could have imagined - I liked the 12-week year technique so much that we decided to try it in the new year.
What is this book?
The book “12 weeks a year. How to do more in 12 weeks than others manage in 12 months ”was written by the Americans Brian Moran and Michael Lennington, who are business trainers and consultants with many years of experience (anyway, they know a lot about planning overseas). It is full of good ideas that you are probably familiar with if you have already read such literature. However, repetition is the mother of learning, right? However, a fresh and interestingly presented thought passes through the whole book about fitting the annual plan not in the usual 12 months, but only in 3 months, or one quarter, as we used to call a quarter of a year in business. All the techniques described in the book are built around this idea.
Another undoubted advantage of the book is that it is quite small, only 200 pages, so you can easily “swallow” it for a couple of evenings, armed with a cup of tea and wrapped yourself in a warm blanket (fortunately, the holidays give us enough days off to read). From myself, I want to add that I read it “obliquely” - an easy manner of writing allows you to apply this approach. Therefore, the technique can be accessed very quickly.
Methodology of the “12-week year” and its advantages
The main idea of the book was very interesting to me. But it really is - to draw up a “concentrated” plan for 12 weeks is much more convenient than 12 months. In addition, for the whole year in life and in the market (which is important if you make plans for a business) a lot of changes can occur. Yes, and the annual plans themselves are rather something painfully generalized and very ephemeral. When making such a plan, we most often write goals “for show”, not knowing for sure when we will start working to achieve them, as a rule we give ourselves too much time for each goal, guided by the fact that we have 12 whole months ahead of us. Then (often by the end of the year) we recall our omissions and try to make up for everything that has not yet been done, and thus deal with the lion's share of the work in the last couple of months.
In fact, using the “12 weeks” methodology, we fit every month of the year into just one week. In this situation, we do not have time to delay, and we tend to spend this most valuable resource most efficiently. Nevertheless, the authors of the book assure that when we set a clear and fairly close one, we can say a “tangible” deadline, then the deadlines and goals become clearer, and we subconsciously try to have time to complete everything that has been planned by this time. Thanks to this approach, the tendency to procrastination decreases, and the efficiency increases.
If you read my other articlesto improve work efficiency and achieve goals, you know that I like to try various techniques that could help me not only work productively, developing a family business, but also engage in self-development. For me, such a 12-week plan is also relevant due to the lack of some stability in life - over the past year and a half, my husband and I moved five or six times (this I take into account only “grandiose” transfers) and lived in four countries, and this introduces a certain commotion both in the way of life and in the work schedule.
The last week of the past year, many of us traditionally devote to planning all that we would like to accomplish in the coming year. As a rule, we manage to achieve a lot, however, contrary to all plans, some things remain unrealized. For example, for two years now I have been unable to open my own business, since all my efforts with my husband are focused on a common enterprise, which is growing and requires more time. Now, I planned to make a breakthrough over the next three months (given that quite a lot of groundwork has already accumulated) and start my own project. This unusual technique is wonderful especially for those who (like me) have long dreamed and walked around and around their goal, but could not achieve it at all - with all its essence, it calls for action.
Programs and trainings related to the methodology
The authors of the book themselves offer readers additional support in the form of an online system, consultations and training, but all this is provided in English and is quite expensive, and not everyone can take advantage of these benefits. Therefore, I am grateful to the guys from SmartProgress for the fact that they decided to implement their own program , built on the basis of the technique described in the book.
The program was developed by Russian trainers to achieve the goals of Ilya Slobodinov and Andrei Bannikov, who are also the authors of many other programs and trainings. It will last exactly 12 weeks, and starts on January 11, 2016. During this period, coaches will not only introduce this technique, but also help participants learn and apply it in practice. Everyone can implement three goals within the program, two of which are individual for each participant, and one is common to all.
Within the framework of the program, coaches will help to draw up a plan for achieving the set goals, select the resources necessary for the work, determine the criteria for monitoring progress and establish intermediate control points for the results. It sounds very business-like, which is just right for those who decided to immediately get down to work. Speaking about my situation, I’m an active person and quite motivated by nature, but even for me additional sources of motivation are needed - not so much to go to the goal, but to increase the pace. Therefore, deadlines, plans and tight control are just what many aspiring entrepreneurs need, and just users who set goals not only for professional, but also for personal growth. I’m sure that such an “iron hand” (or, in simple terms, “Life-giving pendel”) has a beneficial effect on the effectiveness of most of us. In addition, it is one thing to read a book, and quite another to interact with a living person. It is not for nothing that working with a teacher or mentor has always been considered the most effective type of training, because you will not get any support or feedback from the book.
So for those who are interested in self-development and achieving goals , I highly recommend reading the book “12 weeks a year. How to do more in 12 weeks than others manage in 12 months ”or watch the webinar by Ilya Slobodinov and Andrei Bannikov (I would start somewhere in the middle - just by this time they managed to“ catch the courage ”), where they talk about the technique - to some extent, this could replace the reading of the book. I sincerely hope that the technique created by Brian Moran will help you make your next 12-week year productive. Good luck and success to you in the coming year!