What’s review time all about?
‘Review time’ simply means that you get to take some time out to review your current situation and to think about your dreams and your goals. The benefits are numerous. You get to see things from a different perspective, you get to step out of your life and rest for a while, you get to work out what’s really important – difficult to do while you’re in it – especially if you’re multitasking or juggling lots of roles.
The posts in this advent calendar are designed to help with some aspect of your review time. You could, of course, follow the steps as you go along – effectively having review time every day. Alternatively you could ponder the steps as we go along, then put aside some time to do it at the end of the month to do your review.
You do have to put a bit of work into setting it up, especially if you’ve got a family to look after or a demanding job. Ideally you want four days for your review, but one day still works if that’s what you have available.
When’s the best time to do it?
Because it’s nearly Christmas, and the country I live in seems to shut down over the festive season – unless you want to hit the shops, I’m planning to do my review during Twixmas – that is, the few days between Christmas and New Year. It doesn’t have to be Twixmas, but you do have to give yourself enough time to focus and get away from your every day life.
What will it take to give yourself this gift?
- You’ve got to believe it’s important, that way you’ll plan it thoroughly, because it counts.
- You’ll want to consider the time and space you’re going to use for your review – both are important.
- I suggest that you use a trick that writers call ‘foreshadowing’. It works well as a time management tool too. I explain what it means below.
Here’s what to do if you think it’s going to be difficult to negotiate some time away. A while before you plan to do your review, introduce some times when you are unavailable, at home or at work. At home, this could be half an hour in the bath, or some meditation time, or thinking time, or an exercise class. At work, you could call it your ‘focus time’ – say one morning a week, or an hour a week if a whole morning isn’t feasible. That way, it won’t come as a surprise to the people you speak to every day, who might be affected by your need to take some time out, when you negotiate a longer period.
Find the time
So go on, take time off, delegate, call in favours, get some childcare sorted (or organise a swap), call on family support, get your boss onside. Do whatever it takes to give yourself this gift.
Over the next few posts I’m going to assume you’ve got one whole day to do your review – because the four-day version still seems kind of luxurious to me – but I’ll give you the low down on my ideal four-day review at the end of the month.
Top Ten Tips for Increasing Your Productivity
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