Let me tell you about something that’s proven quite valuable to me, even more since I released it to the people on my mailing list. This blog post is about my Lunar Agile calendar – how to do an Agile sprint using the moon phase as your “gate.”
the Lunar Agile Calendar – happening 13 times per year
I follow an Agile sprint that’s inspired by the moon phases in my calendar. For example, I spent most of January planning, attending to annual business, and getting ready for another big project phase in my life. There was a lot of minutiae and pressure in getting to Go! time by the time the second New Moon of the year arrived – which was also the Lunar New Year!
The Lunar New Year always lands right around the time of my birthday (Groundhog Day), another anniversary by which we mark significant milestones. This time, since I’ve been following a Lunar Agile sprint over the past few months, it suddenly occurred to me how dead-simple it would be to describe and then create this into a new template for you. And me. Out of my head, and into reality.
What’s an Agile sprint?
It’s a short period of time in which you dedicate yourself to one or two projects, from “gate” to “gate” (the place you last left off to the place you intend to get).
Why? Because Monday to Friday is when people with normal jobs work, and they have bosses and deadlines that creatives and the self-employed don’t always have. So we have to pick our deadlines and watch where our energy goes, and we often don’t keep normal workweeks. Weekends are the bookends by which certain things might get done, but one problem of being your own boss is things can trail off… and get interrupted.
So Agile sprints are a way you can speed up your projects by focusing on them and push them through to completion. But the problem with arbitrary deadlines is if you made them, you can break them! (✋🏻 Guilty, guilty, guilty!)
What helps? Having an outside influence. And the Moon has been a big natural influence in our lives, for both “Woo” reasons and non-, since time immemorial. Most of us like sky gazing, after all. I certainly do.
Example: how it started for me.
Last year when I was learning how to put my creative work out there, I had just two deadlines: 1) the monthly Tactical Chronograph release, and 2) a new habit I was forming to limit my administrative and organizational habits to a constrained part of the month.
I also needed to celebrate my completions, rest when it was time to rest (or at least understand my energy fluctuations), and to liberate more time and intention to create and build without getting distracted.
The moon is a rock-solid consistent thing that sails in the sky in a predictable cycle, with the benefit of a universal, cultural attraction to it. It pulls the oceans around the world, creating high and low tides twice a day. It goes bright, attracting eyes and cameras the world over, and dark, allowing forgetfulness and darkness but for the stars, one full night per lunation. It’s made out of cheese and dreams, and getting there was perhaps the most ambitious and concerted effort humanity has ever made.
So that’s how I came up with the Lunar Agile calendar, and it’s pretty self-explanatory how to use, if you take a peek. After I introduced the February / March calendar to my mailing list, I posted March / April’s to the Projectica Facebook page:
As of this writing (or rather, as of Wednesday March 28th, 2019), we’re entering the last moon phase until the New Moon on April 5th. If you already know what you’re doing this week, you can still take advantage of the Release cycle. You can spend the next week finishing your existing plans, clearing up old files, taking care of old business, and/or pushing a project through to a public-facing conclusion. Here’s what I did last month:
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There are four days left to this #lunation- meaning the #NewMoon is on the 4th. I included the complete #lunarcycle icons in my monthly #tacticalchronograph agenda because it is a great natural #agilemethodology calendar. From New Moon to Full, I build new efforts, and from Full to New, I try to refine, complete, and clear them out. One of my challenges, already begun, is a #30daychallenge to build an audience or community using Instagram. Today’s Day 3: share my workspace and to do list! Now that I used #LifesBattlePlan (a workbook I produced, link in bio) to figure out what I wanted to do this year (#resolutions2019, anyone?) and for the next three months, I just spent about 20 minutes designing a few 2-week sprints. A sprint is when you have ONE OVERARCHING GOAL, with two performance-based projects that feed into its accomplishment. Just two. They may be different, but approach the same thing. Everything else is extracurricular. My next build goal is “Make my presence, brand, and hire-ability known to real people and establish my #selfmarketing habit.” My projects are “Job hunt from new CV and Portfolio website to niche job boards, applications, community challenges and offering my engagement” and “Make sure my website, product, promotions via blog, podcast, and new video are up and being seen – including through ads.” This is scary, and maybe too ambitious (there’s a lot of work in the background), but it’s done just one thing at a time, hoping it connects together and to other people. For the next three days, I’m clearing random things that are either overdue or wanna be done. (Including a #poutineweek run, which you’re welcome to join!) How might you challenge yourself using this method?
So that’s all I have to share with you today. If you derive the value I think you will from this template, join the mailing list below. I’ll create more for the future and figure out how to deliver them to you. If anything, I hope I’ve planted a seed of one way you can more easily build creative projects and get more work done.
You can easily keep track of the moon by importing this calendar to your iCal or Google Calendar. Copy and paste this link as you see it (it is NOT linked because it’swebcal://www.webcal.fi/cal.php?id=41&wrn=1&wp=4&wf=12&ts=1297485571&lang=en
webcal: not http: protocol).