5 Ways to get More Results In Life Using Agile

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When I am not organized with planning my commitments to my faith life, family, and work, it can be stressful. We all experience this mental stress at some level. In previous posts regarding “Getting things done”, we introduced ways for collecting and organizing our life commitments.   In this post, I would like to challenge you to consider the following question:

How do you improve yourself and your team every week?

As teachers, how do we inspire our students to engage and learn more? How do we keep ourselves inspired? As professional leaders, how do we serve our teams better by having the heart of a teacher?In answering this question, we will be building upon the principles of doing “more with less.”  (i.e. Lean)

I would like to introduce you to Michael Kropp writer of “Getting Results the Agile Way”.  While you can purchase this book through Amazon, you can read the whole book online for free.  You may enjoy browsing around the book now.

What’s this agile stuff?

The word agile refers to a style of project management that focuses on creating value. As a software team, we work in two week execution cycles. Our process involves planning, building stuff, doing a small “show and tell” session, and retrospection.

Michael Kropp has adapted this software centric way of managing projects to personal productivity. This pattern of personal project management can be used in your personal life, family and classroom.

5 ways to get more results

1) Consider your hot spots: As you plan, Michael encourages you to consider all areas of your life: mind, body, emotions, career, finance, relationships, and fun. He calls these areas “hot spots.” I believe that this thinking is very similar to Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life teaching.

2) Have a Monday vision: What three big results do you want to accomplish? You should think of these items as outcomes. For details on this planning activity, please visit this link.

3) Focus on daily outcomes: As you plan your week, you should break down your “Monday vision” into parts. Each day, you are encouraged to create three “sub-goals” that support your “Monday vision.”

4) Do a Friday reflection: On Friday, consider scheduling 30 minutes for yourself. Ask yourself, what went well, what could I improve, and what can I stop doing. You may consider doing this activity with your students if they are learning in a project based style.

5) Planning for the month: Just as you have a “Monday vision” activity, consider setting three major goals or result areas for the month. These monthly result goals will help you focus on the “dream / big picture” stuff.
In personal management systems, it’s very easy to “over plan” and make a HUGE list of stuff to accomplish. By promoting the number three in his system, he’s encouraging the reader to consider a focus on results and creating plans which are simpler, but focused.  Make sure to check out the book and his free planning templates:

Agile way templates

I hope this post helps you get more results in your personal life, class room or place of work.. I would love to learn how “Getting things done the Agile way” has helped you. What are your three dream goals for the week?


Abstract: Bruce Feiler has a radical idea: To deal with the stress of modern family life, go agile. Inspired by agile software programming, Feiler introduces family practices which encourage flexibility, bottom-up idea flow, constant feedback and accountability. One surprising feature: Kids pick their own punishments.

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