Recently someone wrote to us seeking help with personal effectiveness.
This person wanted to be more clear about her vision for life, what habits to focus on, what to do on a daily basis to get results, and how to prioritize things so that how she worked gave her satisfaction.
What she wanted was to be more personally effective at work and in life. At Make Time Count we advocate holistic productivity which means one is:
- a leader with a clear vision who takes responsibility for creating the life they want,
- that results don’t arrive on the basis of trade-offs creating a one-step-forward, two-steps-back effect,
- one feels energized, creative and empowered.
The person who wrote in for help felt overrun by deadlines, dreaded her work and family commitments as just more things to do. She was super stressed. This impacted her health, personal and professional effectiveness.
The good news is that our Grid approach was able to help from day 1. Below we outline 10 principles that Grid coaching highlighted. We hope they inspire you and provide useful signposts for what you can do to raise your personal effectiveness.
If you’re an HR and L&D leader or coach others, they may also help you discover why Grid for coaches may be a worthwhile training to consider.
10 principles of personal effectiveness
1. Plan your day
All success starts in the present moment. We live by our motto to make time count and Grid reflects this. In other words, making the most of your time and life is a choice and responsibility. We show up to what can be actioned by creating a clear plan for what is needed and how we want to feel.
With its focus on balance, Grid helps ensure that what’s most important is considered, including how to take care of you, what your top priorities are at work, and what you need to do to stay employable and grow your career. Without the Grid framework in place, it is easy to let the day get away or be swept up in reacting. The Grid becomes your daily guidance to ensure each day has the best chance of being a great day.
2. Clear priorities
Being clear is far harder than we realize. Our grid life satisfaction survey shows close to 75% of people (over 500 we surveyed), struggle here. We all know that we should focus on what’s most important but if you ever skipped that health-boosting workout, canceled on a friend or let someone you love down, or even let yourself down, you know what we’re talking about.
Grid easily and quickly clarifies what matters most. Once we’re clear, we know where to give energy and attention and where to save it. If you need help here explore our Grid small group coaching sessions and discover how powerful this method really is.
I was captivated by The Get Productive Grid method and ordered her book and started to use it right away. It has revolutionised my approach to productivity and work-life balance and I use it on a weekly basis. I am no longer reliant on long to-do lists!Amazon Verified Reviewer
3. Focus, focus, focus
Focus is hard. Even the experts can’t manage it for very long. Our minds enjoy drifting and are easily distracted. Grid helps you stay effective by supporting you in focusing on specific tasks that convert ideas into results. All work when broken down into doable steps becomes something we can execute. But, Grid goes further. You can achieve incredibly ambitious goals by being clear on what you want and tasking the steps needed to get there without tiring. If you’d like some help here, check out our Goal Getter Bootcamp project or our goal-setting 90min powerful small group coaching events. We host them at the start of each year and in September.
I have been a slow starter but the Goal Getter Bootcamp has helped me remember that setting goals is important. We tend to get what we aim for.Professional coach and 2022 Goal Getter Bootcamp participant
4. Energy management
The reason why so many to-do lists don’t work is that one way or the other they create overwhelm and feel like “work”. This has a tendency to drain energy. Have you ever had a day that started well but quickly dribbled out and you felt a good deal of the day got wasted? This is actually quite normal.
But, when you learn the Grid method, you discover how you can combine energy surfing with principles 1-3 of personal effectiveness to give the entire day a power boost. This means you start and finish strong and energized.
Being strong means you can stop leaning on ineffective compensating mechanisms like overeating, drinking or needing to take anti-depressants to cope. Grid supports health and good self-care habits which is why the Self Care Forum had this to say about our entry to their 2022 self-care awards:
Here is the feedback from the 5 Self Care Forum judges (GPs and Wellbeing Advocates).
Self Care Forum 2022 Awards Feedback about the Grid
- Excellent tool, tempted to use it myself, lots of free materials.
- Good to see the pandemic helped in redesigning empowering tools which increased engagement.
- Grid is flexible, person-centered and relevant. Reading through the information made me want to do the Grid. Expensive project.
- More a time management tool than a self-care initiative.
- Teaching the skills to self-care is at the heart of the initiative. Great examples of the evidence of impact and feedback. Anyone can use it.
5. Accessibility and personalization
Grid is technology free. It uses only paper, pen and highlighters. It provides a nifty structure and a set of simple principles that leave plenty of room for personal adaptations.
This means that you can make the Grid method fit different circumstances, pressures, and life realities including helping neurodiverse individuals succeed when it comes to goal setting, focus and results that build confidence. Check out some of the films from how Grid impacts real people around the world on our YouTube channel and please subscribe to it so you can be part of our growing story?
6. Eliminating distractions
Have you ever noticed how all the gadgets designed to make us more effective often make us work harder and take time, from mobile phones, social media and e-mail, to many collaboration software attempting to organize us?
In reality, they make us push many buttons around instead of doing real work, scatter our concentration, force us to work in ways that don’t easily fit in with how our minds and bodies actually function at their best, and zap vital energy.
They work in some contexts for sure but not universally and often not when it comes to personal effectiveness. Grid being paper-based eliminates distractions. Grid supports people in showing up to what they want and need to do and helps them complete it quickly. The practice creates guilt-free time for enjoying what technology offers on our terms.
We’re not kidding when we say Grid is a personal liberation tool!
7. Monitoring results for autocorrection
We don’t get better by repeating what doesn’t work. Unfortunately, it is easy to pick up habits that sabotage personal effectiveness and harder to lose them.
All the above principles have their counters: going with the flow and having no plan, being too scattered and overstretched, stress and fatigue, lack of effective tools and support frameworks, and tons of distractions. Grid helps you see what’s happening so you can do more of what works and adjust what doesn’t.
A terrific thought provoking introduction to the journey we all need to take in balancing work and life. You may have read many strategies for finding the right balance; the should/could/must frameworks, the have to/want to/need to/ought to list, but its quite rare to find a guide (book or person) that is trying to solve the “WHOLE” you at once.Amazon verified reviewer
Self-care is critical. We’re only as effective as we’re healthy and good mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. But post-pandemic burnout rates are climbing.
We feel more anxious, tired, depressed, and adrift navigating a world that is changing very quickly. Grid engineers self-care into your day, every day. It conditioned your mindset for self-care and self-love. This is incredibly powerful and life-changing. It literally changed our psychology and mindset.
Explore our success stories on this site and films on our growing YouTube channel to learn more. And, if you’re ready to dive in, why not dive into our Introductory Grid Training yourself? We help you learn the Grid method by putting it to work in your life from the get-go!
9. Personal responsibility
Personal effectiveness is all about showing up, solving the problems in need of solutions, and ensuring that obstacles in our path don’t derail things.
Grid develops personal leadership by helping you build a meaningful vision, set a clear agenda and take action to advance. It also helps you see where delegation will save you time, how to keep energy high, and stay at your growing edge.
This happens through the way Grid develops your personal success routines and helps you evolve them as you and your context change.
10. Healthy boundaries
Overworking is the fastest means of burning out, lowering performance, and eroding healthy relationships. Our survey shows that over 80% of people (N=500 respondents) struggle with healthy boundaries. This could be work-life boundaries or knowing how to say No and when.
The Grid framework and tools support your personal effectiveness. Learn to manage your daily activities to keep you feeling safe, connected, and fulfilled. Grid invites you to explore what actually gives your life meaning. This means you become an active shaper and creator of a life that works for you!
We believe Grid solves a number of real problems that are incredibly real for too many people.
- Achievement and success being too dominant where fun and play and doing things that really matter for us being downplayed and undervalued. For many people, this means they feel guilty, undervalued, and disempowered.
- Pressures of work and finances dominating to the detriment of what creates health and wellbeing including critical self-care, family and fun, as well as career management.
- Society and consumerism culture link external measures of success, status, and wealth to a promise of greater health and genuine fulfillment that fails to materialize even for those earning high salaries.
- Nature of natural chaos favoring chaos which means that balance and order we need to be well has to be actively put back into the system on a daily basis.
- Our propensity to avoid conflict and problems and settle for less than ideal is pitted against those willing to ask for more of us from managers to bosses, partners and kids.
- A natural preference that makes us either focus on the big (macro) picture or detail but makes it harder to link the two together creating confusion, making everything appear more complicated than it needs to be, and sapping energy.
- A number of interconnected global challenges including wellbeing, mental health, employability, productivity and social and economic success.
What this means is that too many of us end up in vicious cycles that keep us stuck, overwhelmed and disorganized. We and put up with it because we don’t believe we can do better but, this is simply not true!
We wrote the Grid Manifesto because we believe this is a problem we can do something about. Check it out. Share it widely and leave us a comment.
Grid: a mighty tool for the way we want to live and work today
Equipped with the right tools and framework, we can have:
- productive and well-balanced days that feed healthy confidence and health.
- more space for all that matters.
- the means to tackle and complete overdue work and commitments to feel on top of things.
- multiple roles and different hats that give meaning and satisfaction.
- a clear vision for life with a way to realize on a daily basis.
- a means of staying aligned and true to our values.
- greater impact on how we live, attend to ourselves, work and lead.
All this and more is possible with a simple yet mighty powerful framework called the Grid. Grid helps us manage life and become true heroes and heroines of it.
Ready to direct your life towards a healthy and fulfilling future?
Life is ever more complex. Most of us juggle many roles and activities. The demand for our attention is massive! This is why personal effectiveness matters more than ever.
Grid will help you do well and be well.
As your life improves, everyone around you will benefit too. And if you’re working or managing people who stand to benefit from this idea and tool, get in touch to explore our corporate Grid leadership and management training offer.