The Seed

Bonjour, this is Cyril from Work Smarter, Live Better.

In this video, I want to challenge you on three personal work habits. Not business work habits but personal ones.

Two weeks ago, I published a video blog called ‘The Dash’. I normally plan my video blog in advance by listening to the WSLB community and choosing a few topics each quarter. However, the video blog the dash’ was completely unplanned.

I have been blown away about the amount of emails and feedback I have received after releasing this blog. I would really like to thank everybody who have contacted me and it is become quite apparent how much the poem ‘the dash’ resonated with so many of you.  I’d like to share one extract from an email I received from Juan the Vice President HR for South America of one of the largest car manufacturing companies in the world.

‘As HR, my first advice in every interview is to plan a career that is fully aligned with your personal life. Just after asking about ambition I ask:

“Is your plan fully aligned with your life plan? What does your partner think? How does it fit in with the age of your kids, your parents? And what about your hobbies and favourite sport?

100% of people recognize that they haven’t done this analysis. In most cases they haven’t even discussed it with their family. The focus for some of them is just limited to recognition, obtaining a beautiful big office somewhere and a nice expatriation package.’

A lot of people think there is a clear delineation between business life and personal life but I disagree. We do not live two lives but one. The other thing that has always surprised me is how much care, thought and planning we put into on our business life, and how little planning we do for our personal life.

Every quarter I challenge myself and all my clients in doing a very simple exercise called the compass plan. So what is the compass plan? At a business level every quarter you need to decide your main priorities. What are the two or three things that if I really focus on this quarter would have the most impact long-term on my performance and the performance of my business?

In fact, every quarter I do two compass plans: a business one and a personal one. Every quarter I ask myself: what are the two or three things that if I really focus on in the next three months would have a significant impact long term on my life.

When was the last time you asked yourself this question?

Every week I spend some time planning these priorities. I do a mind map for both my business big rocks as well as for my personal big rocks. Very simple. I ask myself what I need to do next week to progress this big rock? What are the actions and steps that I need to take by next week?

My focus is how can I progress each big rock next week? Then, I block the time in my calendar.

When was the last time you planned your personal big rocks and booked time in your calendar?

Every day I protect my big rock time, both my business and personal big rocks. I try to create deep focus when I work on them.

When was the last time you fought hard to protect personal big rocks?

As mentioned in the video blog called ‘the dash’, we have absolutely no control about our birth date. Most of us have no control about our death date. The only thing we control is the dash in between.

So my suggestion is simple:

Every quarter ask yourself ‘what are the two or three things I need to focus on this quarter that will have a significant impact long term on my personal life?’

Every week you take 10 minutes and ask yourself: how can I progress each big rock next week? Next block the time in your diary

Every day protect your big rock time.

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip. If you and your team are struggling with this, let me know. Just reply to this email. I’d love to see if I can help you.

Have a great day.

A bientôt



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