You set your five-year vision. Then your one-year vision, then framed that vision into intentions for the coming year.
And then the coming quarter.
Now it’s time to look at the month to come.
Mapping A Creative Month
The month is the first time in the planning process that we have a time period that we can take hold of at assignment level. We move from vision and intentions into the nitty-gritty of creative projects and assignments.
A month is a manageable level of perspective, a level of planning where you can see a more coherent pattern than what’s happening today, but not like a year or five years, which can feel like they’re off in the future.
This month is now. And creative planning is all about getting to now.
The focus of the monthly plan is to map your energy and activity, your time, not just your intentions. It is also to create manageable projects, assignments and tasks that can be mapped, and then logged, across weeks and days.
Recap of Creative Intention
Each time we do a monthly plan, we do a quick check in with our current intentions. As time goes on, things change and the mapping method allows space for that, with this three-step recap.
1 Recap your wishes. Before checking back to your quarterly intentions and quarter-projects, do a fresh creative wish list for right now.
2 If things are pretty much as they were, move directly to step 3. If things have changed, and there are a number of new items on your creative wishlist, move through the selection process again, recalibrating your seven top wants and then three.
3 Note your MIT (Most Important Thing) for this month. And note too your primary intentions for creative rest and play (which must always be part of your MIT).
Download this map to note these primary intentions. You may wish to pin this map to a board for the duration of the month, so you keep orientated in that direction.
4 Decide on the four waves of work needed to make this month’s MIT happen. This is your most important weekly project, the one you must do first.
5. Use the Creative Intentions Map to note your other intentions for this month, what you most want to accomplish.
As always, with the intentions map, you are intentionally limited to seven choices or fewer, for two vital reasons: 1) to keep overwhelm down, and 2) to make the most meaningful wants priority.
We’ll look at how you map this information into a productive, creative week next time.
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