Getting things done in today’s world means getting things done virtually.
You may be part of a not-for-profit that needs to manage volunteers with their own day jobs. You might work in a traditional co-located office but partner with companies in other locations. Perhaps, like me, you’re part of an international team working across distance and timezones. Many of us, in different ways, now need to be able to get people to work together to achieve outcomes, but can’t just pull them into a conference room whenever we need them to hash out a problem or plan.
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I have a bit of a working theory that there are often three tensions at play when we do this, and that being deliberate about our priorities and expectations as we manage those tensions can help us choose the best approach for a given situation.
I came to the end of a week recently, and I felt as though, even though I had given it my all, there was still so much not done.
Maybe you know the feeling.
Maybe you’ve recently finished off a week, or even the year, and felt as thought there was so much more you would have liked to have accomplished.
But then I realised something.
You’re probably familiar with the story of the big rocks, the pebbles and the sand in the vase. A teacher stands up in front of the class and fills a glass vase with big rocks. ‘Is it full?’ he asks. ‘Yes’, the class answers. Then he pours in small pebbles, which fill up the cracks between the big rocks. ‘Is it full now?’. ‘Yes’, they answer. Finally, he pours in a bag of sand, the grains making their way into the tiny gaps that remain.
The principle in the story is that if you start with the sand, it will fill the vase completely, leaving no room for the big rocks. Starting with the big rocks and then moving onto smaller things is the only way to get all the elements in. This, of course, is an analogy for starting with the ‘big rocks’ in the way we plan and live out our lives – the things that really matter to us – and then allowing the smaller things that matter less to fit around them.
It’s a classic story that gets used again and again, because the principle is true. Being deliberate about the most important goals and values in our lives is the only way to ensure we give them the time and energy they deserve.
Ultimately, it’s a story about getting what you want. What you really want.
Sometimes life knocks us around a bit. When that happens, often the life-giving routines and disciplines that normally feature in our days and weeks get a bit off-track, and we can look around one day and realise – we need a bit of a reboot.
Enter – the Reboot List.
My reboot list comes out when I realise that things just feel a bit off, and I need to reorient around some key points of reference – around the things that I know set me up for the best kind of week, and life.
Here’s what’s on my reboot list:
Oprah says that “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Who wouldn’t want that kind of encouragement and guidance as they navigate an uncertain and rapidly changing world?
We have all heard, and some of us have experienced, what an amazing difference mentors can make to our development and progress, both personally and professionally. Yet mentoring isn’t the only kind of guidance we need – and sometimes isn’t even the right kind.
Here are seven different types of guides who can help shape your path in different ways. Don’t let the labels get in the way – whilst they are often using in interchangeable and overlapping fashion, the key point is the different types of support and guidance they represent, and the different ways that can help us along our journey of crafting a deliberate life –