When it comes to his calendar, Brian Cvetkovski has become a color-coding master. He’s learned to schedule his engagements with Crayola-like precision based on their nature, and to coordinate them for easy swapping should the need arise. But there are some entries he will never move - church on Sunday morning, or a Saturday date night with his girlfriend – no matter how hectic the rest of his life gets.
“I will schedule everything around that,” he said. “You don’t want to just get caught up in busy work or work in general. You want to find time for your family, your boyfriend, girlfriend, church, whatever makes sense to you that you still want to accomplish.”
Cvetkovski, a Detroit Young Professionals board member, said he’s taken guidance on how to manage all of those moving parts from the book The 12 Week Year, which was written in 2013 by Brian Moran, who will speak at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch (1600 E Warren Ave.) on Thursday, January 28th at an event organized by DYP.
Cvetkovski had access to Moran’s book through his work as a Financial Professional at MassMutual Southeast Michigan. It struck a chord with the 27-year-old as he looked to expand his practice while maintaining a work-life balance.
“There’s plenty of business books out there that teach you about time management and goal planning, but I think you have to find one that speaks to you in the way the author talks, and I felt like that with this,” Cvetkovski said.
As the title makes apparent, one of the key thrusts of the book is to break goals into shorter-timeframe projects to enable more responsive and responsible planning.
“It really got me away from annualized thinking,” Cvetkovski said. “(Planning for a year,) you go, ‘It’s January 1st, and I’ve got all year to accomplish X.’ Then three, six months go by, and next thing you know, the year’s over. With this, every quarter is a year, and every week you’re going to track your progress on your goals. What that allows me to do is realize where I am lacking sooner so I can reevaluate and find a new course of action to put me back on track.”
Cvetkovski started with a self-assessment of where he wanted to be in two and five years, then set four professional and four personal goals he’s currently working toward. He uses an online tool through the book’s website to track his progress.
“You have to get out of your comfort zone a little bit to get to a new way of thinking, and then after a while, it gets pretty exciting because once you implement it and start rolling with it, it’s a motivational thing as well,” Cvetkovski said. “It really transformed everything. It allowed me to accomplish a lot more stuff in a lot shorter time, but stay on my goals.”
Interested in learning more about implementing a 12 Week? Click HERE to register for Moran’s 12 Week Year Workshop.
Tom Keller is a professional writer born and raised in Metro Detroit. His online home is http://kellerinstinct.com.