We are pleased to repost this blog which originally ran on April 19, 2017 on Michael Perry’s blog Practical Leadership for those on the Ground. You can find his blog at leadership25.com.

I know this will sound strange, but one of the best things we can do as leaders is to have a regularly scheduled meeting with ourselves.  Yes, that’s right,  a meeting in our calendar where we’re the only attendee, and in the Subject line of the appointment it reads “Reflection and Planning.”


We all know we need to do this – we need regular moments of quiet time, with no distractions, where we can reflect, look back, look ahead and plan what the next move or moves need to be.  Yet so often, actually way too often,  we don’t do it?


Because we don’t put it into our calendars.  We don’t create a meeting with ourselves.

I know this is another strange thought but the reality is when we write down or type something, in this case, into our calendar, we’re saying it’s important.  You see our brains work this way – when we think about something, speak it out loud and then write it down, we’re significantly more likely to remember and then follow through on it.

Now, at the risk of seeming even more strange, I need to say this as well – when we set meetings with ourselves, we need to create and write down an agenda.  It may be a simple, repeatable agenda but, like all other meetings, a thoughtful, intentional agenda leads to a meaningful, productive meeting, even with ourself.

So the next question is – how often should we meet with ourselves and what do we talk about? We should meet every day, even if it’s for just a few minutes.  And we should answer questions like those below.   I have a rhythm of meetings I try to stick too – they follow the same pattern as our organizational meeting rhythm –

Meeting and Agenda (questions to answer):                                                

Daily (10 min):      

  • What’s the most important thing I can do today?
  • When will I do it?

Weekly (15 min):

  • What’s the 3 most important priorities I need to accomplish this week?
  •  Do I have time in my calendar blocked out to do them?

Monthly (30 min):

  • What are my top 3 to 5 priorities for the month?
  • Do I have time in my calendar blocked out to do them?

Quarterly (30 min):  

  • What are my top 3 to 5 priorities for the quarter?

 Annual (2 hours):  

  • What are my 5 to 7 goals for the year?
  • Is my life aligned with my purpose, values and dreams?
  • What’s my unifying theme for the year?

So here’s the challenge – starting next week, try meeting daily with yourself.  Put these meetings into your calendar and simply ask the questions above.  See if you don’t become more focused, more effective and less stressed than you’ve ever been.