The last blog on Powerful weekly plan. received a good response. Yes, I’ve used the weekly plan for many years, especially it took me through tough times. I found it extremely effective.
You must be wondering how I got to it? Well, actually it’s an amalgamation of several theories, and then making some adaptations to make a good fit for today’s life style. Having lived through a time when you either bought a book or went to the library for any solution of problem. You all have had it much easier today. Still, the problems of managing one’s week is even more vital now, so you can satisfy all your needs from every important point of view.
I’m a big reader, and while reading I try to incorporate the stuff into my life. Whatever clicks. Anything that makes sense. Then I give it a little time, analyze it and make amendments. So, those of you who have read the Stephen R. Covey’s block buster book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, you would remember the ‘weekly plan’ in it.
So, I tried it. But then I realized, it is literally impossible in Pakistan. Hardly anything is streamlined here, if you are well organized, then no one else is, so really, it doesn’t work. But then even when it does work, there are issues in applying it in our country. Here, we do not put our parents in homes, nor do we put our children in day care. So, we take those responsibilities very seriously too. So, when he wrote about the roles in life, that really clicked.
Our roles in life are the real things that hit us, and our schedules. Here, one call from a relative or close friend makes you put aside all scheduled things of that day! So, that’s how we are. If a close loved one is in hospital then again we will shelve everything to be available for our dear ones.
So? How do we manage? Well, best shot is to pre-empt as much as one can. By fitting them right into our plans also. Before they call us, we are ready for them.
This is when I developed this theory of merging goals of roles with the weekly plan. This is more practical. Also, planning things like doing something at a particular half hour slot next week would be nice, but a good plan B works also. You know what you want to do this coming week, so whenever you get the chance you do it.
Many times it all worked well. Guiltily, I’d put ‘myself’ right at the end. One fine day, as we were having dinner at a restaurant, my boss-turned-friend-Farzana Ikram, – who owned the school I worked in -(yes, we both were great Stephen Covey fans,) she asked me
“Where do you put ‘Myself’?”
I said, ” right at the end.”
Then she asked me “If you put yourself at the end, how can you take care of everyone else?” That was in 2001, since then I’ve started putting ‘Myself’ in the very beginning of my weekly plan.
In 2009 I was preparing a presentation for my office work. I was in the Department of Training and Development of APSACS with around 150 schools all over Pakistan. We would visit their schools and conduct workshops for their teaching staff. My presentation was based on working on one’s strengths. In the field of education with its total focus on ‘weak points’ I found this perspective of working on strengths, closer to my heart. I was reading up on Marcus Buckingham’s Put Your Strengths To Work. In that, I found the ‘last week’s achievements, and then ‘this week’s objectives’, to be useful prerequisites, to the weekly plan. So, after 2009, I’ve used that. It sort of connects the two weeks.
In Novemeber 2011, when my husband was dying of cancer in hospital, (my in-laws had connived and closed my husband’s banks in his lifetime,) and I had no money to survive even. I realized how important it is to have cash on hand. Depending on one’s husband is not enough. Depending on anyone isn’t enough. You’ve got to stand on your own feet at all times.
Yes, that is when the ‘Financial’ point was added to the ‘Myself’ section. That was my own innovation. We women have suffered enough in this field. It is time we took our own finances in our own hands, just as Islam had decided for us from the very start. Yes, that is when I had read Suzie Orman’s books. I was caught off guard when things went wrong . However, with Allah’s guidance and having read all these books I was equipped to make the right decisions at the right time. I got back on my feet, but after learning a very hard lesson.
Thank goodness whenever, I went to the US, I invested in books of all types. Anything my heart felt like getting. (Many times I’d feel like laughing at myself for going for such books when I don’t have any financial control. What was the point?)
So, whenever you feel this strong urge to do something against your own judgment, just go ahead with it, as I did. Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad when I did, was probably the best thing I did. When things go bad, you don’t have time to read up, you only have time for action. So, if you’ve read up well, you have the best advice at hand already.
Dr. Wayne Dyer’s books had already given me great strength. I had been reading his books since the 1990s. The Power of Intention is one of my favorites.
Then the book ‘The Secret’ was another one.
I already had a rough copy of the book I’ve published now.
Allama Iqbal’s Message from the East. I always found great strength and solace from his words. Reading them in English made me feel closer to Iqbal’s thoughts.
Of course, starting my day with verses from the Holy Quran still does wonders to my day.
As you write the Weekly plan, you can shuffle the ‘roles’ according to the ongoing week’s priority. So, it is always good to keep your ‘radar’ alert to what ‘works’ and what doesn’t . Try something else. Who knows, you will evolve something else that works.
Don’t worry, change is the best thing anyways…
Stay blessed and learn some more new stuff in life. 🙂