As a leader, you need regular times for review and reflection to ensure you stay on top of your priorities. A quarterly review process helps.
Last week, as we come towards the end of the third quarter of the year, I carried out my usual quarterly review. This is an opportunity for an in-depth, strategic reflection on where I’ve come from in the past year and to look forward to where I am going with my annual goals. I use the Quarterly Preview in Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner as the template for my quarterly review process.
My Quarterly Review Process
First of all, I try to get away from the office in order to go through my quarterly review process. This helps me get away from any potential interruptions and the hustle and bustle of my office environment. I also switch off my mobile phone. In the past I have used quiet places like a cathedral or church, a cafe or a coffee shop. Choose somewhere that’s relatively quiet so that you can concentrate.
I surround the quarterly review process in prayer. I spend time thanking God for what’s happened over the past three months. If I foresee any big issues or challenges that need to be faced in the coming quarter, then I ask for God’s help with these. And I reconnect with God and ensure that I am following his plan for my life.
My Biggest Wins
The first thing I do is to celebrate my biggest wins from the previous quarter. If I have accomplished anything important in the past 90 days, I record it and thank God for his help in achieving them.
After Action Review
During my last quarterly review process, I will have chosen two or three of my annual goals to focus on during the quarter. This is where I review my progress on them. I try to estimate how far I have got to achieving them. This helps me to identify where I can improve. As part of this, I think about what worked and what didn’t in trying to achieve my annual goals. This assists in achieving success: I can try to replicate what’s worked and can be dropped or stopped.
Michael Hyatt has developed the KISS system as part of his quarterly review process. Looking at my goals and the degree of success in achieving them, I reflect on the following questions:
- What will you KEEP doing?
- What will you IMPROVE?
- What will you START doing?
- What will you STOP doing?
This part of the quarterly review process helps to cement my opportunities for success in the upcoming quarter.
Life Plan Review
Next in my quarterly review process, I review my Life Plan. I read through it and decide if anything needs to be revised, removed or replaced. Sometimes, I update the language and if God has spoken to me through his Word in a particular way, I might update the supporting Bible verses. I will also update my specific commitments.
Completing my New Full Focus Planner
Now I move on to my new Full Focus Planner for the upcoming quarter, as I come towards the end of my quarterly review process. I review my annual goals, deciding whether to revise, remove or replace any of them. Once I have committed to them again, I write them into the list in my new planner. I then choose two or three of them to focus on in the next quarter. I also complete a goal template for each goal. This helps to imprint each one in my memory, which helps towards achieving them.
Then I schedule the “big rocks” for the next quarterly writing them into the Monthly Calendar pages in my new planner. This will include major events, deadlines, projects and rejuvenation time (such as holidays or reviews). I also do the same for the next four quarters in the Rolling Quarters pages. This helps to see where there are busy periods and whether I have any margin in my schedule.
Next, I carry out a review of my Ideal Week. Once I am happy that I my ideal weekly schedule covers my main priorities and focus, then I write them into the corresponding pages. Then I do the same for my Daily Rituals.
An Invaluable Tool
I have found my quarterly review process an invaluable part of proactive self-management in the past few years, and the Quarterly Preview template included in the Full Focus Planner to be even more helpful in assisting me to go through the process. If you think a quarterly review process might help you, then you will probably need to plan them in advance. Mine are a recurring appointment in my calendar for the morning of the second Friday of the last month in the quarter. I am sure you will begin to find the quarterly review process an important time of review and reflection.
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Why not check out these posts from around the blog?
- Full Focus Planner: The Difference It Makes
- Full Focus Planner: The Productivity Principles
- Choose Joy, not Resentment
- Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing (1 Samuel 8)
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