Week 1 of the 12 Week Year (check out Week 0 here)

This post is a little late, but I promise I did my weekly review on time.  I just didn’t write the actual blog post yet.  What’s a weekly review?  In the context of The 12 Week Year, the weekly review is a meeting you have with yourself.  First, you score your previous week: your performance on all of your tactics that you planned out, as well as measuring your lead and lag indicators.  Then, you plan out the next week, schedule out your time including your strategic block, buffer blocks, etc.

This page contains affiliate links – they don’t cost you a penny, but they sure help to pay off those student loans!  For more information, please see my disclosure page.

How to use a strategic block to meet your productivity goals. My journey self-publishing a book through the 12 Week Year week 1 #12weekyear #productivity - https://www.thecafescholar.com

Week 1 Score


  • Edit Ch 2 and Get Feedback: 100%
  • Record ch 2 story: 0%
  • write 2 chapters: 25% + 0%
  • Pray for book 5 days/week: 100%
  • Submit Celebrate Lit tour info: 100%
  • Set-Up Profit First accounts: 100%
  • Review Sway Portal for opportunities & apply: 100%
  • Send weekly RW newsletter: 100%
  • Send monthly CS newsletter: 100%
  • Schedule promotion of Ultimate Homemaking Bundle: 100%
  • Load 1 month of social content: 100%
  • Weekly RW blog post: 100%
  • FB: Weird Bible questions Survey: 100%

Weekly Execution Score: 81%

Lag Indicators (If you forgot, those are measures against the goal itself, such as “pounds lost”):

  • Books Sold: 1
  • Chapters Written: 0
  • Revenue: N/A (not a pay week)
  • Paycheck: N/A (not a pay week)

12 week year

Lead Indicators (measures of activities that contribute towards the goal):

  • Weekly Execution (see above): 81%
  • Products or Sponsored Content Created: 0
  • Interviews/Guest Posts Scheduled: 0
  • RW Email List Size: 148
  • Chapter Freebie Conversion Rate: N/A (not yet released)
  • Accountability Post: 1
  • Affiliate Sales: $0

What I Learned This Week:

  • I need to change how some of my tactics are measured because some really small tasks are weighted the same as a chapter getting done.
  • This week actually went pretty well, BUT I didn’t make progress on two of the most important tactics, so even though I scored 81%, my progress towards the goal is so-so.   I’ll adjust this in the plan for next week to force myself to tackle the big things too.
  • I’ll talk about strategic blogs in a bit.  But I realized I need to set better boundaries and create better plans for my strategic block so that I can use them to hit those big goals.

What is a Strategic Block?

A strategic block is one of the keys to the 12 Week Year plan.  These are blocks of time, 3 hours once per week, where you work on your business, not in it.  They “should be scheduled early in your week so that if one gets interrupted or canceled, you have time to reschedule it.”   We are talking no interruptions, no email, turn off the phone, distraction-free time.

Here is a Sample Strategic Block Agenda from The 12 Week Year:

  • Reconnect with your vision (5-10 minutes)
  • 12 Week Review (10-15 minutes): How are your scores?  Are you executing at a high level?  If not, what needs to change?
  • Assess performance breakdowns (10-20 minutes)
  • Work on Plan Tactics (2-2 1/2 hours)
  • Other ideas: read a book take an online course

Strategic blocks help create space for the real work to happen, knowing that we can’t work “distraction free” all the time.  Knowing that I have that time helps me take care of the minutia, knowing I have space to work on the big goals.

Strategic blocks help create space for the real work to happen, knowing that we can't work 'distraction free' all the time. Click To Tweet

I ran into some snags with my first strategic block.  First, I didn’t turn off notifications on my phone.  I don’t have social media notifications on my phone, but I started getting texts and didn’t ignore them.  Lesson learned.  Also, I didn’t have an agenda for which tactics to work on.  I ended up spending too much time working on tactics that don’t require that deep focus, or that ran into technical difficulties resulting in research to solve a problem.  For future strategic blocks, I want to have a plan of tasks that don’t require much internet finagling or formatting.  Strategic time is probably not the time to figure out how to use Scrivener. 🙂

Changes to My Plan:

After this week, I had to make a few changes to my plan.  I had to move two tactics to later weeks that didn’t get done.  And I realized I had too much planned for Week 2 because of some other activities going on. Not too many changes this week, though.  Before I change the plan I want to see how much progress I make.

Week 2 Plan:

For week 2, I scheduled my strategic block for Tuesday night.  (I work a regular job during the day, so my 12 Week Year happens mostly on the nights and weekends.)  Here are my tactics for Week 2:

  • Record Ch 2 story
  • Create freebie for ch 2
  • Write ch 1
  • Create Amazon Pre-sale page
  • Record Ch 1 story
  • Pray for book 5x/week
  • Accounting Day
  • Review Sway Portal for opportunities and apply
  • Weekly RW newsletter
  • RW blog post
  • FB Live: Weird Bible Questions

I’ll check in next week (or probably tomorrow, since I’m a little behind on these updates!) to let you know how week 2 went!

How to use a strategic block to meet your productivity goals. My journey self-publishing a book through the 12 Week Year week 1 #12weekyear #productivity - https://www.thecafescholar.com

Follow The Cafe Scholar: