Chris Meade, author, professor, and leadership consultant, introduced me to the metaphor of the swingset as a driving force on the leadership journey. The amount of forward momentum is in direct correlation to the amount of backward propulsion.
The backward propulsion is the time we spend thinking, reflecting, goal-tracking, journaling, and meditating on our lives and work.
The forward momentum that results ensures that we're making meaningful progress on meaningful projects. That is, that we're living effective, fruitful lives.
Here's one method to be intentional about building in times of 'backward propulsion' into your life.
Every 90 days, take a one-day retreat.
Kyle Mast does this best, and he's a huge proponent of the two-night, one-full-day approach.
I can’t emphasize enough the benefit of getting away one full day (two nights). There is something special about separating yourself from your normal environment for a full day. - Kyle Mast.
If that's untenable for your schedule, get a spot where you can be quiet for at least six hours. I'm fond of a nearby monastery with a beautiful library. Phone off. The world will still be there when you return.
Again, from Kyle, here's three questions to maximize your backward propulsion:
- Could I accomplish my ten-year goals in the next six months? This forces me to think well outside my current comfort zone.
- What is the one thing, such that by doing it, will make everything else easier or unnecessary? This is stolen from The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan (I listen to this book on my way to my quarterly retreats).
- What would this look like if it were easy? Again, stolen, from Tim Ferris.
To make the most progress forward in 2020, schedule time on your calendar for a 1-day retreat.