post # 61 — April 27, 2006 — a Careers, Strategy post
My wife, Kathy, has always wanted us to go together to a spa. The thought has never been appealing; I’ve always thought of them as sybaritic luxuries. (They are!)
Still, I owed her — big time — for all her support, and I eventually agreed. We went to The Golden Door in southern California. (Yes, I always do things to extremes.)
For me, the highlight was not the spa experience itself, but the opportunity to listen to Deborah Szekely, the 80-something founder of the Golden Door, who gave a really fascinating talk one evening.
Among her pearls of wisdom was the advice that, every week, we should take an hour or two to examine what we have done with our time in the previous week, marking everything in one of five colors.
- Green would be used for anything that was a challenging growth experience
- Black would be used for things that were a waste of time
- Blue should be used for things that could have been delegated (even if the other person could only do it 85% as well as you could.)
- Red would represent something you did that was a deposit for your health
- and your own favorite color would be used for time spent on family, friends and fun
This is more than just “cute.” It truly is wise.
In a previous post we have discussed the issues of measuring and judging in running a business. The key insight that ties these topics together is that, as individuals and as organizations, we can only improve if we use our direct experince, taking the time to reflect on what has happened to us, and making small mid-course corrections.
There’s no point having experinces, if you don’t have a process for learning from them and building on them.
I’m not sure I want to go back to spas for the massages. But if there are people like Deborah Szekely there to listen to, sign me up again!
Carl Singer said:
Retrospection is an important tool.
Now twist this taxonomy a bit and look forward—both immediate (what do I do now / next) and longer term (planning.)
posted on April 27, 2006