- Take Inventory of Your Month – Review your whole calendar to avoid any surprises. Look for upcoming events, birthdays, bills, deadlines, schedule changes, etc. Add any tasks tied to these calendar items to whatever your task management system is (I’m a devoted Simpleology “black belt” user), or create a new “My Amazing June” list on paper or even better, create it in Evernote, another one of my top favorite applications. Do you have to get a Father’s Day gift or make reservations? Do you now realize that you need to find childcare for a certain night? Do you need to send a card to a friend to wish her happy birthday? Don’t forget to check your Facebook for any birthdays or other invites that are hiding in your “upcoming events” section. Taking inventory of our calendar gives us the ability to design our month with awareness instead of living in a blur of little “oh s@%#” moments.
- Plan Your Workouts and Self-Care – Just like you schedule your work and family responsibilities, put your workouts for the month (or at least this week, with a note to schedule your workouts every Sunday) in your calendar. Also, look for space in your calendar to schedule something that will nourish you each week – something that you REALLY WANT to do that makes you FEEL GOOD. It could be massage, acupuncture, beauty treatments, dinner with your besties, date night, beach time, reading time, meditation, a new class you’ve been wanting to try, whatever fills you up and makes your heart sing. Treat these like appointments with your most important client because frankly, that’s exactly what they are.
- Eat Some Frogs – Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog, is based on an old saying that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you’ll enjoy the relief, satisfaction, and empowerment of knowing that hopefully the worst part of your day is over and you can handle anything else that comes your way. He uses this as a metaphor for getting those unpleasant, big, or nagging tasks done first before filling your day with the stuff you don’t mind as much. Avoiding your frog breakfast day after day doesn’t make the frogs go away, it just means that you’ll have a giant frog smorgasbord to deal with sooner or later. This month, commit to eating some of those frogs that have been on your list for weeks, months, or years. Clean out that closet. Get that check-up. Clear out that inbox. File those documents. Balance that checkbook. Call that relative. Or get someone else to do it for you (see #4 below).
- Discover Your Zone of Genius – It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of life, spinning from one obligation to the next, doing what we do (because we’ve always done it). We can lose months, even years, filling our days with “shoulds” and “have tos”, living a painful (or heartbreakingly comfortable) life of wasted potential and mediocrity. We tell ourselves that we’ll get to the big, awesome stuff that lights our fire LATER, when things “settle down”, but that day never seems to come and pretty soon it’s a new month or new year and we’re not sure where the time has gone.This month, commit to asking yourself how much of your time you currently spend in what Gay Hendricks calls your “Zone of Genius”. This is the place where the things you love to do and the things you’re good at come together in a beautiful flowing symphony of joy, love, fire, and inspiration. It’s that stuff that doesn’t feel like work, the time-bending stuff that makes you come alive and inspires others to come alive as they witness you operating in this zone.In his book, The Big Leap, Hendricks talks about how much time even the most successful people spend in three other zones that prevent us from living a life of true fulfilment and joy:
- The Zone of Incompetence: Where we spend way too many hours trying to do things that just aren’t our thing and we have no desire to master (ever spend 4 hours trying to research and fix your iPhone and then a Genius Bar employee at the Apple Store fixes in 2 minutes?).
- The Zone of Competence: Where we fill our time with those things that we are able to do, but that we could easily outsource, automate, or pay or trade someone else to do. For more on this I highly recommend reading, Less Doing More Living by Ari Meisel.
- The Zone of Excellence: Perhaps the most seductive zone where we are doing what we are really great at, but something is missing. We get lots of positive feedback in this zone from our bosses, co-workers, clients, friends, family, and our ego. We are comfortable here, but our spirit knows that we are destined for something more.
For the month of June, make a commitment to becoming aware of how you fill your calendar and in which zones you spend the majority of your time. Ask yourself as you go about your day if you could outsource, delegate, or shift in such a way that you could spend more (if not all) of your time in your Zone of Genius. Pick up Hendrick’s book or download it the Audible.com version, and make June the month you begin your Big Leap!