Imagine you missed the beginning of the game.
Your favourite team is playing, but you were out at dinner or otherwise tied up. You walk in the door, turn on the TV, and… what? What’s the very first thing you look at?
The score. Of course.
In the world of sports, this is a no-brainer. At any given moment, we want to know if we’re winning or losing.
So, why is it so much harder to apply this same thinking to our professional lives?
Chances are, if I called you up on a Wednesday afternoon and asked, “what’s the score?”, you’d say, “excuse me?”
Not only do most of us not know whether we’re winning or losing on any given day, we don’t even know what game we’re playing. We haven’t defined what winning looks like from week to week – let alone how to keep score.
We all know it would be ridiculous to remove scoring metrics from the world of sports – can you imagine watching a hockey game where no one cared who won? – and yet many of us go through life without keeping track of our own goals and misses.
The thing about keeping score is that it’s really very simple. When I ask you on a Monday morning, “what does a winning look like for you this week?”, I want you to be able to define that. If, by Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., you’ve won the Stanley Cup for this week, what does that look like? And how are you going to do make it happen?
One of my clients’ favourite tools for defining and keeping track of their weekly wins and misses is my Weekly Scorecard. When creating each of their personalized scorecards for the week, I ask the question: “What are the habits and routines that, when you do them, everything goes great in your life?” This doesn’t need to be more than two or three things.
At the end of the week, they must give themselves a score between 1 and 10 on everything that they’ve deemed important for a winning week.
My own Weekly Scorecard includes items like: “Left My Comfort Zone”, “Learned From My Community”, and “Created and Served.” Yours, however, can and should include whatever feels meaningful to you and your own definition of a winning week.
For my clients, this one simple tool has been a game changer. It keeps them focused. It helps them reflect on the things that went well, as well as the things that didn’t go so well, and make adjustments for next week.
And, when I call them up on a Wednesday afternoon and ask, “what’s the score?”, they have an answer.
Every Monday morning – or on Friday afternoon before you finish work – define what a championship week looks like next week. That alone will help you increase you focus.
To help you get started, consider the following questions:
- What are the habits and routines that make up a winning week for me?
- How can I keep track of those?
- What gets in the way of defining what a winning week looks like for me?