It’s the end of the week and always a good time to think about what you accomplished before the next week starts.
There’s the work you have to get through to meet deadlines. If you are part of projects, then you are accountable to your team or boss. The technical programming, writing, calls to make and follow up activities are all necessary and have to get done.
But if week in and week out work merely accomplishes what is expected then it is much like Sisyphus vainly rolling the boulder up the hill. It will start next week and the week after without a larger purpose or context.
I like to measure my output differently. Yes, there is the necessary work to do and do well at that. But what moves my broader life forward requires some intentionality and focus. Here are some of my quick ways to think about whether bigger goals are moving forward:
How many new people have I met?
The opportunity for click moments greatly increases by connecting with people. Everyone is working in different circles with a different focus.
People make the world go around, whether for business or for pleasure. You can meet them in person, in forums, from social networks or by referrals. The important thing is to reflect on whether you enclosed yourself with busyness or broadened your network.
How many new assets did I build?
Time wasters are all around us. Those are fine for pleasure. But assets take work to build over time. For me, I write. The amount of time I spend moving the ball forward on books, articles and helpful content that is available and useful is a measure of progress.
It’s never a waste of time or effort. It helps me continue to get clearer, keep growing an audience and help people that are thinking about business problems all day. Writing and publishing are long term outputs that matter and are lifelong assets for me personally.
Did I grow my mind?
I have an ongoing reading list. I am working through a book again by Os Guiness, A Free People’s Suicide, examining our freedom and how we are maintaining or lacking the fortitude to continue on the American experiment.
I have other books I read on leadership, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing and democracy. It allows me to grow in my thinking and be valuable to others.
Making it easy to pick up and read between work moments and finishing works from others is a key output for me. If I don’t read, I don’t grow. And if I don’t grow, then my value is limited.
Keeping your eye on the bigger picture
These are quick reflections that are important for me to do at week’s end. I reflect and prepare for the next week.
A lot of times, there is not an immediate payoff. I have to settle for the intangible gratification that my pipeline of opportunities and value come later and are ongoing.
Over time, I can always look back and see that if I connect with people, build assets and keep growing, there is never a shortfall of good things that happen.
The week is ending. What if you made a quick five-minute reflection every week on the bigger picture? It’s a habit that you have to maintain if you want to make any progress on a broader scale.