The Space

the next quarter

Mar 31, 2024

Happy Sunday! I know for a lot of people this particular Sunday is a leisurely day off that will be spent with families and friends... for others it will be the 21st day of Ramadan and the fasting and everything that goes with that continues! I feel compelled to send an invitation for you to enjoy the time you have with loved ones, or on your own, and for you to make the most of this day. 

In the UK the time change - spring forward - has meant that we 'lost' an hour... I always find the concept of losing time interesting because it's the clocks that have changed... we still have all the time that is available... and time is such a gift... Anyway, I don't want to get distracted in a mind warp there! 

A warning about this edition of The Space... This issue might come across as a bit of a kick up the backside (it felt like that to me when I read it back and at the same time it was the motivation that I needed). If that is not what you want to read right now on a long weekend Sunday I suggest you bookmark this message and come back to it tomorrow. I am writing this email as a metaphoric love letter to myself (and therefore to you too) in the guise of preparing a plan for the next quarter of the year, which happens to start tomorrow (1 April). 

As an aside, last week I had some coaching and supervision calls where the concept of planning for the next quarter came up. Chances are you know me as a leadership advisor, coach, tutor, or supervisor... What you might not know about me is one of my superpowers is planning.

Let me tell you a story. After my husband and I got married I asked him what he wanted to do with his life. It was a serious question. He said he wasn't really sure. I left it for a few weeks and then went back to the question again only to receive a similar answer. After six months I broached the subject again but this time I was ready... So when he said he wasn't really sure I presented him with what was effectively a 7 year plan. It included when I thought we might buy a house, when to aim for promotions at work, when to aim to have children, when to have big holidays etc etc etc. At first I think he was shocked at the precision of the plan and then he said 'yes, let's do it.' That is essentially what enables us to make some very big moves in the first 10 years of our married life together. Of course some things didn't go to plan and some things happened far more quickly than we could have anticipated. 

The point is that it was the clear plan that helped to provide direction of travel. If you are a leader or run your own business (yes, coaches and facilitators that includes you!) then having a clear plan that you've written down will enable you to harvest the time you have and make the most of it. 

And that is what leads me to the kick up the backside I gave myself last week...

Since the middle of January I've been on a drive to improve my mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual capacity and capability. A lot of my 'implementation plan' has been related to my psychology and motivation. I have a clear plan that I have created - yes, over the years I've learned more than I need to know - and I've been implementing it, adjusting the plan as needed, and really do focus on continuous improvements in my actions and in the plan. It has not always been easy but it has been worth it. 

Knowing that we are going into the new quarter gave me the opportunity to pause, make some space and take stock. I ended up creating a day by day plan for what I'll be doing which also takes account of my work schedule, where I'll be, when I'm away, and other life and family commitments. Of course there are also the unknowns that I cannot take account of, so I know where there is flexibility in the plan. And it is the latter that gives me confidence that this will work... It had primarily worked because of the flex...

My first rallying cry is  'plan tight, flex right.' 

This is also an invitation for you to think about what you would like to achieve by the end of June in your work, life, mental health, physical well being, spiritual connection, etc... 

Why not find one item in each area and then put it in your schedule... or just find one item and then focus on that.

My second rallying cry is 'if it's not in the diary it won't happen.'

I have everything in my calendar:

  • when I'm supposed to wake up and go to sleep (this helps ensure I get enough sleep);
  • my nutrition (helps ensure I'm consuming what my menopausal body needs);
  • travel time to meetings;
  • when I'm working from home and when I'm going into town;
  • holidays;
  • learning days.
  • I have an app on my phone which gives me reminders for prayer times. 

As much of it as I can cover is covered... by planning tight I have built in room for flexibility. 

And yes, I know it sounds like hard work...

To be honest when I read the paragraph above I get a little bit bored, and slightly irritated at how rigid it sounds.

But I know that spending a couple of hours over a quarter doing this and planning my next three months is the reason why some people tell me 'I see you've been busy'...

And then I realize my schedule is full doing things that I want to do... and as I share what I am up to then of course I give the impression that I'm busy... And I am busy, but I'm busy doing things I want to do, things that are in my calendar... And truth be told, I am also doing some things that I'm obligated to do and I do because they are the right thing to do. I can't have the cake and eat it. And I wouldn't change anything about the obligations. 

So what will you do to prepare for your next quarter? Do you have some goals or ambitions or hopes or dreams that you'd like to spend time on? (Please note I didn't say work on, or make progress on... those are outcomes, yes. However, the first step is to spend time on the things you want to deliberately spend time on). 

Start by writing these things down. My book Results: The Art and Science of Getting It Done is all about planning for 3 months at a time, in the bigger picture context of 10 years and the immediate application of the next day. 

Some more gentle invitations for you...

What would you like to do over the next few months? At work? At home? In your relationships? For yourself?

Write down what your heart desires. 

And then work on a plan to make the things that really matter to you happen. If you need help with this please reach out, I'm happy to see how I might be able to help you. 

My third rallying cry is that I believe everyone is a planner, we just need to unlock that ability.

You might not use a calendar, you might have another way of doing it. To be honest, and as politely as I can say this... I don't care how you plan and what you put in your plan... I care that you have a plan and are implementing it.

I genuinely care about your success, and I invite you to think about your next quarter with that in mind. What do you want to do, how do you want to be, and where and how will you make the space for it all to happen? 

I'd love to hear about your insights and what you'll do. Please let me know by sending me a message.

All my best,



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