Mid-November is the time of year I begin my annual review/annual planning process. This is a process I have honed over the years with the help of a lot of books and bloggers.
Here are some of the articles and books that have contributed to my thinking regarding personal planning:
- The Annual Planning Process by Chris Guillebeau — This process developed by Chris is at the core of my own process. To get a good overview of the process, read this post. Next, for inspiration, read through some of Chris’ Annual Reviews for the past few years.
- What Matters Most: The Power of Living Your Values by Hyrum W. Smith — anyone familiar with the Franklin Covey method of personal planning will immediately recognize the philosophy underlying WMM. Smith created the original Franklin Planner before it merged with Stephen Covey to form Franklin Covey. This is a book worth reviewing on an annual basis as you retune your personal mission, values, and goals. Now, if only the publisher would release this book in a digital (Kindle) format!
- The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey — the companion book to What Matters Most (from my perspective), the Seven Habits is a book without equal. Again, this is a book worth reviewing on an annual basis. And yes, it is available for the Kindle.
- Getting Things Done by David Allen — for many, GTD became the next productivity iteration following Franklin Covey. By the early 2000s, the FC approach to personal planning seemed dated. With the emergence of digital planning devices in the mid- to late-2000s, GTD was better suited for the increasingly complex and fast running information culture. I still like the Franklin Covey approach for the strategic, big picture planning, but GTD helps with the tactical implementation of the plan.
- The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian P. Morgan — imagine if you could harness the momentum of a new year four times a year, that’s the power of the 12 week year. Rather than plan your entire year, Morgan argues there is a strong productivity bump if you view each quarter as “a year” and you plan accordingly. Each quarter becomes a new year.
- Getting Results the Agile Way: A Personal Results System for Work and Life by J. D. Meier — Agile is a software development process that focuses on incremental development rather than more traditional highly regulated development process. Using this model as a launching point for a productivity method, Meier presents the Agile Way for Getting Things Done. The book is available online free or you can purchase the book. To get started with the Agile Way, I recommend the outstanding series of articles by the guys at Asian Efficiency.
The following articles offer good insight and advice on how to conduct your review and live out your plan:
- 69 Questions to Ask to Review Your Blog (Darren Rowse)
- Developing A One Year Personal Growth Plan (Nelson Searcy)
- The Art of Radical Exclusion (Chris Guillebeau)
- Plan for Your Wants to Make Budgeting More Enjoyable (Philip Brewer)
- What’s Your Why? The Importance of Finding Meaning in Your Life (J.D. Roth)
- The No Journal (David Sparks)