Almost every Thursday I announce that it’s “Recalibration Thursday!” on my BrilliantVisions Facebook page.
Some folks have asked me, “What the heck is Recalibration Thursday, and what the heck do you actually do to recalibrate?” Well, here is everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask.
Recalibration Thursday = A Mindset, a Habit and an Action
First, a little background: I had gotten in a rut where it was “suddenly” Friday afternoon and I had not accomplished enough of my to-do list to feel good about the week. I landed on Friday feeling defeated about my week. Mondays started out great — a blank page, full of possibilities! But even though I’m a pretty realistic planner, I would sometimes underestimate the interruptions, snafus and worm holes that could eat up time. Not to mention new opportunities that pop up and rich conversations with folks that take longer than expected. And then there’s the surprise element of feeling low energy on a day I had planned big things – do I force yourself through it or do I honor your body’s wisdom and take a slower pace that day?
I had begun to hate Thursdays. I was feeling tired (from the “forcing through” bit) and overwhelmed. I was dreading a weekend of catch-up work. No one likes to feel like they failed to reach their goals week after week — this can really drain your enthusiasm. So I decided to turn it around. I started honestly evaluating what was happening on these grumpy Thursdays. I stepped back, and took note of what was missing in my week, what was overly present, and what needed to happen to honor both my business goals and my physical/spiritual self.
Hence, “Recalibration Thursday” was born. It’s on Thursday because enough of the week has gone by for me to know how things are really going. And there is still enough time to regroup, revisit my plans and end the week on a high note. Here are some specific ways I recalibrate (see if anything here works for your recalibration style):
- On Thursday, sometime before Noon, I stop and jot down all the accomplishments I’ve had for the week – coaching calls, writing assignments, marketing actions completed, networking, powerful conversations, new clients signed on, lessons learned, etc. I include personal accomplishments too.
- I put a star next to the activities that I consider “high payoff,” meaning – they had a direct positive impact on building my revenues, increasing my reputation/visibility, or deepening a relationship. I notice if my week had zero or few high-payoff activities and I immediately plan to complete at least one by the end of the day Friday. (Your “high-payoffs activities” may be different, so design accordingly.)
- I also say a little statement of gratitude for what I have accomplished – and more importantly, the impact that I’ve had on my clients, colleagues, family, friends… and most definitely, on myself. I celebrate!
- And, I look at my actual schedule for the rest of Thursday and Friday and determine what is realistically possible to accomplish, given existing appointments, promises made and my energy level. For example, as I write this, I know that I have two hour-long phone calls this afternoon, and a 4-hour meeting on Friday. I cannot accomplish the 50 to-do items on my list! (As the “Scrubs” theme song, written by Lazlo Bane, goes, “I’m No Superman”.) Instead, I pick out the one or two highest-payoff activities and set a 100% intention to do those. Often, they are sales calls or other activities I’ve been, ummmmm, well… avoiding.
- If I have to renegotiate a promise I made to someone else — I do it! Some promises are ironclad, others are truly negotiable — don’t get locked in just because you made a promise. If you can renegotiate it, you’ll probably do a better job of it anyway.
- I actually write a clean, new, shorter action list for the rest of Thursday and Friday – and punt the other activities into the bin to consider for next week (which I plan out either on Friday afternoon or on Sunday). Just this one part of the process brings HUGE relief! Look Ma! I can DO this! Instant confidence and energy. Now I’m lovin’ Thursday!
Recalibration Thursday gives me a breather at the end of the week and I can release that awful old punishing feeling of, “Well, I didn’t get it all done this week so now I will have to work all weekend to catch up.” The truth is – the kind of work I do is infinite in nature. There IS no such thing as “catching up.” When I remember this and allow myself to recalibrate realistically… I actually get the more important stuff done and enjoy my life and work a whole lot more.
So… Happy Recalibration Thursday! I invite you to join me today and every Thursday.