For a while now, one of the best things I’ve done to help me increase productivity is to pause once a week for about fifteen minutes and give vision to my week. It's literally revolutionized the focus that I have in my week, and I think it could help you tremendously as well. I call it “Start of the Week Sight.”
This has the potential to be one of the most impactful subjects I’ve written on if I can help you understand the value of embracing the principle of giving vision to your week. It’s really not that complicated. Stay tuned until the end, and I’ll share a secret about where to find even more details about what to do with “Start of the Week Sight.”
When I started doing “Start of the Week Sight” a while back, it literally changed my life. I don’t have any proof of the statistics, but I would have to say that my productivity increased at least 30-40%, maybe more. That’s significant for a guy who is already structured. I had to get honest with myself and ask if I really wanted to do something great for the Lord —if I really wanted to accomplish the vision that I felt He had put before me. If I did, I had to make a few needed changes and get even more intentional with the limited amount of time I had in my week. If I truly desired a good rhythm of life and truly wanted to accomplish many good things in a healthy manner, I knew it all had to happen in the context of my normal routine and in my normal week. I knew that if I continued to enter my week with no foresight, my chances of being focused and productive were minimal.
If you are not intentional with your week, I promise that you will waste your time on unnecessary things. It’s hard enough to be productive when you are intentional with your time; but without intentionality, you won’t even have a chance at success. We also need to tune into the Spirit of God because it’s the Holy Spirit that’s going to help us structure ourselves in the right way. The Lord will lead us down the road that we need to go; and if we listen, John 16:13 tells us, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. . .” If you will listen to His leading, I promise you that God will guide you to the right place, allowing you to be effective in His kingdom. In fact, I have to believe that some of you are even reading this session today based on the Lord’s leading and direction in your life.
Along with His leading, God usually supplies tools to help us accomplish His will in our lives. I’m going give you a practical exercise that you can do to start your week. Although I came up with these questions on my own, they are definitely inspired by other great men who speak on productivity such as John Maxwell, Michael Hyatt, Steven Covey, and many others. Like with most things I write, I’ve gleaned insight from their books and writings, then adapted my writing and thoughts to what works best for me. I call it “Start of the Week Sight.” It’s really just a list of questions you can ask yourself each week. I would also recommend you do this exercise each week on Sunday evening or early on Monday morning. Think about it from a practical standpoint with your long-term vision in mind. Knowing what you want to work toward is important as you ask yourself these questions.
1. What notable successes or God moments did I have last week?
This first question is very important because most productivity-driven people don’t celebrate their successes enough. Like keeping a journal, recording your victories can be a valuable practice.
2. What are the most important spiritual goals to accomplish this week?
Do you want to push yourself to pray more this week or spend more time in devotion?
3. What are the most important family/relationship goals this week?
Do you need to ensure that you have individual, intentional conversations with your kids? Do you need to connect with an individual this week that you would consider vital to your relational life? List those things.
4. What are the most important ministry or business goals/tasks to accomplish this week?
What do you need to accomplish this week to make your future goals happen later on down the road?
5. What is required of you this week?
Do you have to teach on Wednesday? Lead a small group on Friday? Meet with a group of leaders on Saturday? What’s required of you that may need some preparation ahead of time?
6. What is an important health goal to accomplish this week?
If health is important to you, what do you need to make sure happens this week? Going to the gym? Biking? Eating differently? What’s important to you this week?
7. What is one thing you will do for fun this week?
Fun is something I personally struggle with fitting into my schedule because I love to work; but it’s important that I have fun, and asking myself this question will ensure that I give it some thought each week.
8. What will you do for intellectual growth this week that is related to your goals?
If I’m going to be a good leader, minister, and family man, it’s imperative that I keep growing. I ask myself, “What will I read this week? What podcasts will I listen to? What YouTube videos will I watch?” I usually keep a running list and check them off as I go through them.
If you’ll ask yourself these eight questions, I can almost guarantee you will begin to create a vision for your week. All of your planned time, and even some of your unplanned time, can go toward working on these specific goals that you set with these questions. You may need to adjust these questions to better fit what you need for your life, but you must remember to ask these questions every week to get the most out of this process.
I do need to let you in on a little secret though. There’s really a great deal more to “Start of the Week Sight” that you need to access in order to get the most out of it. If you’ve listened to many of my sessions, you know that I advertise a free seven session course called “Leader Life in Rhythm.” In sessions 6 and 7 of that course, I explain more about vision and how to apply all of this content to your life. Do yourself a favor if you haven’t yet. Go to my website, ryanfranklin.org, and subscribe to the “Leader Life in Rhythm” course.
Many people have asked me why I’m not charging for a course like this. I’m not going keep it like this forever. In fact, I’m working on something new right now, so you may want to take advantage of the course while it’s there. The best part is right now it’s free. So, go get it.
If you don't do anything else, however, take this practical step that I’ve shared with you today, and work this week to give vision to your week.
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