As 2016 draws to an end it was time for relaxation and reflection. 2016 has been a great year for me and I am excited for 2017 to be even more productive and fun-filled. With productivity on the mind I decided to read the New York Times bestseller The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Monthsby Brian P Moran and Michael Lennington.
The book claims to help you “get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months”. This is a pretty bold claim, but with a mission to make 2017 highly effective I definitely thought it was worth a read. From the outset Brian and Michael state that they “will show you how to increase your current results by four times or more”.
The book is broken down into two parts: Things You Think You Know and Putting It All Together. The first part explains how the 12 Week Year works and then the second part step by step goes through how to implement it because “There is a big difference between knowing and doing”. This is important to acknowledge because you have to apply your knowledge. As the book says”
“You can be great, beginning today, simply by choosing
to do the things you know you need to do.”
They claim that “Annual goals and plans are often a barrier to high performance”. Part of this is due to the fact with planning for such a long time there is less motivation to achieve the goal and it is harder to accurate be able to plan your actions. Instead, by planning in 12 week cycles “the deadline is always near enough that you never lose sight of it” and “predictability is much greater. Setting 12 week goals “provides a fine horizon that is long enough to get things done, yet short enough to create a sense of urgency and a bias of action
I particularly liked Peter and Brian’s description of life balance – “Life balance is not about equal time in each are: life balance is more about intentional imbalance”. This description highlights the fact that it isn’t about giving all aspects of your life equal attention, but consciously working out the way it should be imbalanced.
In short, the are eight elements that “are fundamental to high performance in any endeavor”. They are:
- Process Control
- Time Use
- Greatness in the Moment
The second half of the book focuses on implementing the 12 Week Year.
“Vision is the starting point of all high performance. You can create things twice; first mentally, then physically.” The idea of having a strong vision in the personal development world is nothing new, but it was good to hear the advice that “The most powerful visions address and align your personal aspirations with your professional dreams”. So often I think the reason people fall out of love with their dream job, is because they didn’t properly consider the professional dream in line with the life they wanted to have.
An important part of any plan is to be able to measure. In the 12 Week Year there are lead and lag indicators. In this way you are measuring your actions and your results. It is important to measure both because “You have greater control over your actions than you do your outcomes.” This is also helpful because if you are following your plan and it isn’t performing then you know you need to change the plan.
Overall, The 12 Week Year is simple to read, make logical sense and can be applied to goals across all aspects of your life. What I found useful was the fact that Brian and Michael have clearly coached hundreds of clients and this can be seen through the book. Anyone can teach a system, but they try to help put in systems for you to personal measure your success and encourage Weekly Accountability Meetings to keep you on track. There are also nuggets of advice that aren’t about your plan, but relate to you being successful in general, such as “Successful individuals work to their strengths”, “Effective time use can be the difference between mediocre and great performance” and “If you are implementing change, don’t go it alone.”
Liked my review? Leave a copy below and why not buy The 12 Week Year for yourself?
Part of the reason for reading The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months was to take part in Simply Smart Business’ challenge, The Simply Smart 90 Day Planning Challenge, lead by Gemma Went.
This book ends by personal challenge of reading 25 books from July – December 2016. Basically, a book a week with a week off for Christmas! It has been a fantastic experience and I have learnt an awful lot and am delighted about all the connections I have made through the blog.
Reading a book a week has been a game-changer for me, but is a huge commitment. As The 12 Week Year said ““Knowledge is only powerful if you use it, if you act on it”. Therefore, I will be slowing down on the reading in 2017, with a focus on applying my new found knowledge. So expect to have a review on the blog every fortnight.