What if there was a way I could guarantee progress in the most important areas of my business every week…
There is a way, it’s called ‘theming’.
‘Theming’ is taking the areas needed to be successful and assigning them to specific days of the week.
Each week all need to make progress on a select few outcomes in order to have long-term success.
For example, as a Project Manager I need to ensure that I deliver specific documents to the client: ‘Status Reports’, ‘Change Requests’, ‘Updated Action-Followup List’ and ‘Engineering Drawings’. Therefore, I if I assign Monday as my ‘Action-Followup List’ day, Tuesday and Wednesday as my ‘Engineering Drawing’ update days, Thursday as my ‘Change Request’ day and Friday as my ‘Status Report’ day I can keep my client happy and ensure a successful project.
Now that I’m trying to start an online teaching & coaching business I need consistently ‘Write (great articles)’, ‘Record (YouTube videos)’, ‘Design Courses (in areas that I have mastered’ and ‘Market (to grow my audience)’ each week.
LET ME CLARIFY: This doesn’t mean that I can’t perform a marketing task on Wednesday. It just means that on Wednesday I better make some progress on recording my video no matter what comes up during the day. On Wednesday I actively try to make room for recording my video as it becomes my main objective from the moment I wake up to until the time I fall asleep.
BONUS: In addition to ensuring long-term success, theming allows you to wake up each day and avoid wasting energy on deciding where to direct your focus. Also, if a day’s theme involves creative work you allow yourself enough time to get over the initial creative block (i.e. writers block or crappy initial designs) and enter into a creative zone that day.
Twitter & Square CEO Jack Dorsey uses ‘Themes’ to manage his life. Here’s a typical week in Jack’s life:
“On Monday, at both companies, I focus on management and running the company… we have our directional meeting at Square, we have our OpCom meeting at Twitter, I do all my management one-on-ones on that day. Tuesday is focused on product. Wednesday is focused on marketing and communications and growth. Thursday is focused on developers and partnerships. Friday is focused on the company and the culture and recruiting. Saturday I take off, I hike. Sunday is reflection, feedback, strategy, and getting ready for the week. And there are interruptions all the time, but I can quickly deal with an interruption and know that it’s Tuesday and I have product meetings, and I need to focus on product stuff. It also sets a good cadence for the rest of the company. We’re always delivering; we’re always showing where we were last week and where we’re going to be the following week.” – Jack Dorsey
Strategy Coach Dan Sullivan uses 3 categories to theme his week:
- Focus Days (making progress towards an important business result).
- Buffer Days (catching up on email, making phone calls, holding internal meetings, delegating tasks, processing paperwork, going through his backlog or articles and educational material).
- Free Days (complete disconnection from work – no work-related emails or calls – a day to completely rejuvenate).
Entrepreneur Evan Carmichael
- Monday: business strategy and admin mode (paperwork, emails. major decision making)
- Tuesday: book writing mode (introverted creative mode)
- Wednesday: video production mode (extroverted creative mode)
- Thursday: public facing mode (meetings, conferences, interviews)
By assigning ‘themes’ to different days of the week, you are more likely to make progress in the areas that matter and avoid wasting the time and energy deciding what you should focus on each day.