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Evaluate Your Yesterday

Evaluate Your Yesterday


Purpose

This is a powerful exercise that helps delegates see if they have been efficient as far as their own goals and ambitions are concerned. Sometimes, people need a reminder that they could be getting carried away chasing unimportant tasks and errands at the expense of those that matter more. This exercise elegantly highlights this and can lead to some deep reflection on where people are in life and why they do what they do.

Objective

Think of what you have done recently and compare it with you want to be doing.

What You Need

  • Papers

Setup

  • Provide papers to all delegates.
  • Get the delegates to write a list of 10 things they did yesterday on a piece of paper. It doesn’t have to be in any particular order, just whatever comes to their minds that defines what they did yesterday.
  • Allocate 5 minutes for this part.
  • Now on a separate sheet of paper, get the delegates to write what they want to discuss in the next appraisal or performance review. If they are self-employed, ask them to list what they want to have achieved in 5 years.
  • Allocate 5 minutes for this part.
  • Ask the delegates to compare the two lists. Ideally, what they did yesterday should match or contribute towards what they want to achieve in the future. If there is not much of a match, their day has not been well spent as far as their own goals and ambitions are concerned.
  • You can then follow this by describing the Important/Urgent grid and explain how each activity can fall within one of the four quarters based on their important and urgency. Emphasise that the best way forward is to focus on important/not urgent tasks and certainly avoid or delegate those that are not important.
  • Follow with a discussion.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 2 minutes

Activity: 5 min yesterday’s tasks + 5 min goals + 5 min comparison = 15 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes

Discussion

What did you think of this exercise? What do you think about the way you spent your day and your goals? Are you happy with the comparison? What needs to change? What should you do tomorrow to get closer to your goals?

Variations

Instead of focusing on a single day that can be somewhat random in a person’s life, ask the delegates to consider the last 7 days. It is a bit more difficult to remember what people have been involved but they should be able to record anything that was significant. This way, they can get a more accurate picture of what they have been involved in and a more meaningful comparison with their goals.