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Take a Leap!

by David Sweetman

Today’s Tuesday Reading is by Dr. David Sweetman, MOR Associates Program Leader and Consultant.  David may be reached at [email protected] or via LinkedIn.

It’s an opportunity that happens only once every four years. An artifact of the decision in 1582 to adopt our Gregorian calendaring system following the earlier Julian calendar not including leap years. Regardless of how it came to be, it is a whole extra day – what a gift! How will you spend it?

It’s an opportunity that you could easily let pass by and melt into the rhythm of any other day, but what if you didn’t? You’ve got over a week to plan. What could you do to approach this extra day with extra intentionality? What strategically important item could you make progress on? What day-to-day tactical work could you pause so that you could do something bigger? Don’t try to put too much into this time though. What would fit in a day?

Take some time now to think about it. This Tuesday Reading is intentionally shorter than most to give you a few extra moments of I-Time to plan your February 29. If you’re looking for ideas, here are some to consider:

  • Build Relationships – go to lunch with your team or reach out to strengthen another valuable relationship.
  • Culture – reflect on the current culture of your organization and what is going well that you want to bolster.
  • Deliver Results – what’s one thing you could push to the finish line for a user?
  • Develop Talent – invest time with a team member who could benefit from coaching and growth.
  • Emotional Intelligence – examine how you’ve managed your emotions recently and consider opportunities to evolve.
  • Feedback – provide the gift of feedback to someone for something you appreciated, be specific.
  • Get on the Balcony – think strategically about the work of your team and an opportunity to improve.
  • The Important – what’s something that matters that has sat on your to-do list longer than you would like?
  • Self Development – what’s a skill you want to brush up on?
  • Strategic Planning – map out the next steps for that important project you’d like to spend more time on.

Don’t try to do it all. Select something(s) you can reasonably accomplish.

Once you’ve made your plans, here’s an even bigger thought: why wait for a once-every-four-year extra day to be extra intentional and strategic in your time? Why not make a regular habit of setting aside time for your most important and strategic priorities? Every month. Every week. Think of what you can accomplish with that sort of intentionality and discipline.

It starts with the first step. And here’s a simple first step: take a leap on February 29 and be extra mindful of how you spend it.

Let us know your Leap Day plans – [email protected] – and we’ll share a summary next week.

Last week, we considered events that may throw us off course and how best to get back to normal:

  • 28% said track progress toward goals.
  • 25% said to build on existing relationships.
  • 21% said set alarms to shape how time is spent.
  • 14% said to add an “in progress” designation to goal tracking.
  • 13% said to build new relationships.

Getting back to normal is not a light switch; it’s a process of gradual progress with many little wins. That’s perhaps why so many of us identified tracking progress toward goals as a top priority or setting alarms to help us work toward balancing how we spend our time. And as a foundation, the importance of relationships and the support and perspective they provide.