|Articles To help Project Leaders
Issue # 31 December 2010
|Pow'Rful Presentations Newsletter|
December 2010 -
Review, Reflect and Refocus
Pow'Rful Presentations is a relatively monthly investigation of ideas,
strategies and techniques to assist readers be more present in life, better
project managers and make effective presentations (in all senses of the
Disclaimer - depending on your background, and my South African origins,
you may find some of my spelling and grammar to be "imaginative".
© Wayne Botha 2010
It is the time of the year...
|"I can't believe it is December already" are the words that you
frequently hear. Where did the year go? Instead of making New Year resolutions,
use this time to make lasting improvements to your experience of
Here we are in December 2010. This is a great month to reflect on your
accomplishments and the events of 2010, and think about what you can do to make
lasting improvements to your life in 2011.
Here are tips that I have
learned to help with the review, reflect and refocus exercise that may be of use
Tip#1 - Review.
When you have 10 minutes, wherever you are, waiting for an appointment or
on the treadmill, reflect on the past year. Where were you in January 2010? What
were your challenges at the time? Which meetings did you attend, volunteer
activities you were engaged in, projects that you were managing?
Going month by month through your personal journal or calender,
review where you were and what your plans were for the future at that time. What
were your goals for February and March 2010?
I find that is is best to always have a written plan for large goals,
because then you can see if the plan is working and can make adjustments. You
can't argue with a goal that you wrote down in Janaury 2010 to write a new book
this year, and then see that the goal is still incomplete in December 2010.
However, even with a failed plan, you have more knowledge about what does not
work than a goal which was never recorded in writing and is destined to remain a
Write down your goals for 2011, and create plans to make them come true.
Then you can review progress and adjust accordingly.
With the events and situations of 2010 fresh in your mind from your review,
reflect on the year. What were accomplishments? I presented speeches to new
audiences this year and lead a very large project to success. What about you? If
you were to categorize situations from each month in 2010 would you categorize
each one as a success, or failure?
When you were faced with having to
make decisions in various situations in 2010, how did you make the decisions at
that time? How did the decisions work out for you?
For the goals that you
set in 2010, what were the results? Did you reach your goals with the plan that
you had, or not? If not, with the benefit of your experience now, can you
devise a better plan?
Tip#3 - Refocus.
You knew this
was coming, didn't you? How can you refocus your energy in the coming year, to
reach more of the goals that you want to reach and be less involved in
distracting actitivies that are not helping you to reach your goals? Are you
involved in too many volunteer activities? Are your personal finances in a mess?
When last did you invest time in maintaining your health and family
relationship? How can you improve this in 2011?
Instead of waiting until
2011, why not start today to refocus? Remember that Tommorrow Never
Comes. What one thing can you do today to start getting some of the
benefits that you want in 2011?
There you have it. This is the holiday season, which means it is the
natural time to reflect, review and refocus. Don't be suprised if you have more
accomplishments in 2010 than you thought you had. If you have a good friend or
spouse, use these three tips in conversation with him or her, to get a better
perspective. Good luck, I trust that you will be pleasantly surprised with your
results for 2010, and this will help you to achieve more than ever in
There are more questions than
Here are specific questions to help stimulate your thoughts as
you plan for 2011. Write the answers down, so that you can review your results
in June and December of 2011.
- What books do you plan to read in 2011? How will they help you in your
career or personal life? What is stopping you from purchasing them now, and
putting them in a handy place to start reading them during the long, cold winter
- How will you make yourself more valuable over the next 12 months? What
courses will you enroll for? How much money will it cost? Don't wait for your
manager to send you on training. It is your life - take the initiative and
become more valuable.
- When and where will you take vacations in 2011? Mark it on your calendar
now, even if you decide to stay at home and not travel in 2011. Then plan your
work around your vacation times.
- What is your competition planning for 2011? How will you beat them for a
higher salary, increased income, etc?
- What new hobbies will you take up in 2011? (I never planned to take up the
hobby of brewing hand-crafted beers. I came across the hobby because I cannot
find commercially brewed beers that I enjoy drinking. I found that brewing hand
crafted beers improved my ability to be patient.) Therefore, I encourage you to
take up a hobby in 2011 - to reduce your stress and increase your enjoyment of
- What have you wanted to do one day, but just not got around to it yet? Today
is one day. What are you waiting for? No, really. Specifically, what are you
- What will be a completely new experience for you in 2011? Instead of the
same old, same old vacation spot, watching the same TV shows, attending the same
professional association meetings and day-in, day-out project leadership tasks,
what will be completely different and memorable for you? (For me, going camping
in the New England winter with boy scouts is completely foreign and memorable.)
What is something that you are not likely to do normally? What is holding you
back from trying it at least once?
The quality of your experience of
life is influenced by the quality of the questions you ask. What questions are
you asking yourself? Are your questions worthy of you?
|My embarrassing moment of the week.
|Although this is a relatively monthly newsletter, I seem to
generate enough embarrassing moments to fill a daily journal.
During the past few months
I have taken up the hobby of brewing hand-crafted beers at home. It started with
my dissatisfaction of commercially available beers and now has turned into a
near obsession of studying brewing techniques to learn and experiment with brew
styles and flavors.
Part of the progress in
this hobby is to move from the kitchen stove to building a semi-permanent
home-brewery. You are more likely to produce top quality hand-crafted beer in
larger volumes if you build a small scale brewery than when you haul out and
setup your equipment in the kitchen for every batch of beer, and then break it
down again for storage when you are done. Setup and takedown consumes time that
is better spent in crafting new beers.
My wife listened attentively as I
discussed my plans for expansion in 2011. I explained the need for new boiling
kettles (to practice my hobby more seriously and produce more beer), kegs (to
eliminate the time consuming bottling process) and a kegerator (to store the
results of my hobby for easy dispensing.)
The benefits are clear. An
investment to build a semi-permanent brewery will result in more beer production
and a kegging system will accomodate the increased production with greater ease.
For additional efficiency, I plan to install the kegging system in the basement
directly under the kitchen with a pipe running to the kitchen, allowing
hand-crafted beer to be dispensed without even having to walk down to the
basement. This is the perfect solution to reduce the time it takes to create,
store and dispense larger quantities of my hand-crafted beer.
She said "Or you could just drink
Do you need a speaker for your Rotary club meeting or Project
Management association chapter meeting? Contact me and lets see if we can work
together for a win/win/win outcome.
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Email me with any problems or questions
that you have about project management or presentations and I will attempt to
address them in a future newsletter.
More next time!