Book Review: The 12 Week Year – Get More Done in 12 Weeks Than Others Do in 12 Months
I have been keenly interested in doing a better job at managing all the different balls I have in the air. As a result, I have been reading a number of books like The 5 AM Miracle, and most recently, Brian Morgan and Michael Lennington’s book, The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months*. Each of these books focuses on a reduced schedule to plan and execute goals. I am using them to better plan my various lives—work, volunteer, and personal.
Morgan and Lennington have put together a very informative and useful book. In fact, I had it open a couple of times today as I start to tweak my goals and subsequent action plans.
The book has 21 chapters and is broken into two parts. Part one is Things You Think You Should Know and part two is Putting It All Together. The book is clearly written and spans 190 pages. I was able to finish it in two sittings.
The authors stated that their quest was to “unlock the secret to helping individuals and organizations perform at their best and live the life they are truly capable of” (Morgan & Lennington, 2013, p. 1). As the authors explained, we know how to accomplish many things, we tend to struggle with executing what we know. I know I am guilty of this that is why I read this book, and I am trying to put what I have learned into practice.
Morgan and Lennington pointed out early in the book that the current goal setting schedule was not working for most people. We set annual goals and do nothing for most of the year, and then struggle to meet the goals at the end of the year, and subsequently fail. They proposed that we shorten the timeline and focus on fewer goals. As Morgan and Lennington talked about goal setting, they addressed long-term vision, accountability, measuring results, time management, and other important elements necessary to help you achieve your goals.
In the second part of the book, the authors laid out the steps to successful goal planning and execution. Early in this section, they focused on fundamentals necessary for high performance:
- Process Control
- Time Use
- Greatness in the Moment
They examined each of these items in detail.
As they outlined each step in 12-week goal planning, they provided guidance for both individuals and teams because there were minor differences. I was glad they included this information because I was also interested in how to leverage this method to support my team at work. A number of the chapters also include a section called Common Pitfalls and Success Tips.
For me, the most useful part of the book was the walkthrough to build a 12-week plan. The authors began with developing a vision that would guide the goal setting, and incrementally, walked readers through developing 12-week goals, developing tactics, creating weekly plans, and setting weekly accountability meetings. They also shared how to set up a week schedule so that goals could be met.
During this upcoming week, my team and I will be planning out the next 12 weeks using the strategies presented in this book. I will let you know how it goes. If you are interested in getting more control of your goals and schedule, I think The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months* will help you. It fits neatly into leveraging other productivity strategies such as Getting Things Done and the Pomodoro method. The strategies in the book have already helped me move some goals forward. Let me know if it helps you.
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