August 19, 2010

Solution-focused planning

Here is a nice and simple solution-focused technique to plan and manage what you have to do on a certain day. You can view it as your solution-focused alternative to-do list. Here is how it works.

Two circles: Hang a flip-over sheet on your wall and draw two circles on it, an outer circle and an inner circle. The outer represents what you have yet to do. The inner circle represents what you have completed. So, write everything you have to do, this day, on small post it notes and hang the in the outer circle.

Tasks you have to do after today, you can hang outside of the circles and move them in the circles later. As soon as you have finished one of these items you pick up the post it note and hang it in the inner circle. The nice thing about this is that, during the day, you see the amount of work you have completed grow before your eyes which can be quite motivating. (Contrast this with the usual way of planning where everything that has been completed gets removed from the list and therefore becomes invisible ...).

Two basic rules: If you'd like to try this solution-focused planning technique, I'd advise you to apply these two rules: 1) write down EVERYTHING useful that you have done, not matter whether you have previously planned it or not and no matter how small it is, 2) hang the post it note in the inner circle ONLY after you have completed it. For the rest, you can make up any additional rule or principles you like. The person of whom the pictures below are, for instance, uses different colors for different types of activities, or projects.

Let me know how it works for you!


  1. Brilliant. Would be good for team projects too. Potential: digital version of same .. on the laptop/iphone/bberry...


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