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17 May

Do your weekly run-through together

Datum: 2023-05-17 09:00
A maritime rope tied in a knot on a boardwalk in the evening sun.

When we have a lot to do and many urgent tasks to attend to, there are a few tasks that seem to repeat­ed­ly get neglect­ed and pushed aside.

The week­ly run-through is a com­mon exam­ple of such an activ­i­ty — the recur­ring time every week when we raise our eyes and get our­selves a decent overview of every­thing we need to get done, be it big or small, and get a feel for what is com­ing up next in the month ahead, as well as review what we did dur­ing the past month.

For you who pre­fer lis­ten­ing to read­ing, this post is also avail­able as an episode of the Done!” pod­cast:

There is good rea­son unhitch” sounds a lot like ostrich”

Mak­ing sure to at least once a week (and prefer­ably at the same time every week) get that pre­cious overview is an excel­lent way to increase our fore­sight in what we do and become aware of what we have ahead of us. Instead of like the ostrich, who sinks its head into the sand and thus obscures its view of its sur­round­ings com­plete­ly, only focus on what is right ahead of us, we gain some per­spec­tive on our activ­i­ties and the path ahead. 

We give our­selves per­spec­tive, and no longer risk unhitch­ing” and los­ing our grip as some­thing we did not fore­see comes our way. Are we mak­ing progress in all areas that we are respon­si­ble for? Are we com­plet­ing any tasks and com­mit­ments we promised we would attend to dur­ing recent meet­ings? Are we get­ting a head start on things we lat­er will be thank­ful for already hav­ing started?

Yes, the week­ly run-through is indeed valu­able. Yet, we are prone to shun it aside, save it for lat­er, and instead focus on doing what­ev­er appears urgent at the moment. I have pre­vi­ous­ly writ­ten about what we can do to ensure we still have time for it, but if these sug­ges­tions and ideas have not had the intend­ed effect, there are oth­er ways.

Get­ting some per­spec­tive together

What if we did the run-through togeth­er with some­one else rather than alone at our desk? There are sev­er­al rea­sons why this is a good idea — not only avoid­ing our incli­na­tion to postpone.

Who you choose to do the run-through with will depend, as so many oth­er things, on sev­er­al fac­tors. It could for instance be:

  • The col­league you feel near­est to
  • Your boss
  • The cowork­ers you are the man­ag­er of
  • Your team, or what­ev­er you call the group of peo­ple you work clos­est with

It would take too long and become too com­pli­cat­ed if every­one went through all the steps in the week­ly run-through togeth­er, so I sug­gest you focus on col­lab­o­rat­ing and work­ing togeth­er on some of the areas that are most rel­e­vant to your work.

These might per­haps be:

  • Check­ing how far you have got­ten in rela­tion to the company’s long-term vision. Are you mov­ing steadi­ly ahead towards it, even though it is a long way ahead? Do you need to do some­thing dif­fer­ent­ly now in order to cor­rect your course or speed the process up a little?
  • Going through your larg­er tasks and projects. How far have you got­ten in all the tasks and projects that take longer than a day to com­plete? What is the next con­crete step to take in each project? Are there next steps miss­ing for any of the projects, which has left them hang­ing”, in sus­pen­sion wait­ing for some­one to take action? If so, what could you do next and who will com­mit to doing it? Are there any more exten­sive tasks or ini­tia­tives that are near­ly fin­ished, and are there any new ones you should start on?
  • The wait­ing-for-list. Update each oth­er on what you are wait­ing for from the oth­ers. Per­haps you thought the agree­ment was that some­one would do some­thing for you, but he or she had mis­un­der­stood your instruc­tions and has a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent per­cep­tion of the matter.
  • Look one month ahead in the cal­en­dar, and review the month that passed. What have we been up to late­ly? Have we been doing what we said we would get going with? What is com­ing up in the near future? What could we get an ear­ly start on now, and not have to hur­ry to fin­ish as the dead­line approaches?

There might of course be many oth­er things you could dis­cuss, mat­ters that are more rel­e­vant to your busi­ness and work.

What is the purpose?

There are sev­er­al good rea­sons for doing the week­ly run-through togeth­er with some­one else:

  • We actu­al­ly get around to doing it, since it is eas­i­er to can­cel a meet­ing with your­self than with some­one else — espe­cial­ly if that some­one is your boss.
  • You increase the trans­paren­cy amongst your­selves and obtain a clear, com­mon pic­ture of what is cur­rent­ly hap­pen­ing and rel­e­vant right now.
  • The chances that you get what you might oth­er­wise have wait­ed in vain for from a col­league, increas­es since you will now remind them in an easy, undra­mat­ic and sys­tem­ized man­ner of that you are wait­ing for some­thing they promised to deliver.

Do this

If you find the above sug­ges­tions appeal­ing, then do this:

  1. Decide on who you want to do a week­ly run-through with.
  2. Make an out­line of the sim­ple agen­da you might have for the recur­ring meeting.
  3. Clar­i­fy to your­self what the pur­pose and use of get­ting togeth­er to get some per­spec­tive might be so that you have the argu­ments for your idea clear when you pitch” the sug­ges­tion to the oth­er person/​persons.
  4. Find out when you are meet­ing the person/​group in ques­tion next time and when you then could bring the mat­ter up.
  5. If they con­cur and agree to try it out — give it a go, eval­u­ate, adjust and allow the week­ly run-trough to become ever­more refined over time.

You will see clear­ly now

If you do all or parts of the week­ly run-through togeth­er with oth­ers, you will get it done with greater ease — at least if you are one of us who are repeat­ed­ly tempt­ed to post­pone it until some­time soon” as you have oth­er, more press­ing, mat­ters to attend to.

Doing the week­ly run-through togeth­er is much like hav­ing a week­ly meet­ing, or any oth­er meet­ing for that mat­ter, and sure­ly you are already aware of the ral­ly­ing effect these can have.

There is prob­a­bly no need to launch yet anoth­er and new forum or type of meet­ing for the group that already con­gre­gates sev­er­al times a week, but per­haps you and a few of your col­leagues would great­ly ben­e­fit from obtain­ing this valu­able com­mon and clear overview of your shared sit­u­a­tion togeth­er, and thus gath­er­ing to do a week­ly run-through will still ben­e­fit you all.

How do you get a com­mon overview?

Do you get togeth­er to do week­ly run-throughs in this very way? If so, what effects has the com­mon week­ly run-through had on your group, per­for­mance or com­pa­ny? Share your thoughts with me.

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