Everyone learns when they are toddling along their parents that crossing the road when it’s red is a no-no, and you should wait until the green man appears to go. If the lights turn to amber, you should not attempt to cross, and hurry up if you are already half-way across the road.
The same traffic-light based system can be used in project management to flag up items that require immediate attention, are at risk of becoming a problem / have minor problems, or are running as appropriate. A more in-depth description of how the system can be used in project management can be found on the leadershipthoughts website, but you can always set up your own meaning to associate with each colour. For the progress tracker enthusiasts like myself Excel has some great conditional formatting options to use to automatically show the RAG colours based on percentages or some user-set criteria, and can be utilised from simple cell colouring to Gantt charts.
However, RAG does not only come in handy when learning road awareness or managing a multi-billion £££ company. You can also use it to evaluate your own personal goals or life in general at any time.
RED – things I should stop doing
- sleep odd hours
- to improve: set a self-imposed curfew? set alarm at the same time every morning?
- get myself to do things in the morning to promote waking up in time.
- will probably improve once I start working. hopefully.
- to improve: stop over-drinking, simple.
- beat myself up over set backs
- to improve: keep telling myself that it’s a set back, not a road block.
AMBER – things I could improve on
- to improve: consider if it’s needed or wanted.
- reading books – having too many on the go at the same time
- to improve: finish “currently reading” books
- do not have more than three ongoing at the same time
- social life
- to improve: nurture existing friendships
- join a club or group or something?
GREEN – things that are going well
- food logging and more conscious eating
- being a little more open to try things
- catching up on reading
Well, that was fun. A simple three by three list to review my current status on various aspects of my life. I have to be honest, it was easier to write the red and amber lists, and I could have added more to each. But I don’t want to be nasty or mean to myself. I thought about what to add to the green list, and I realised it might just be the more important part of this exercise. I am quite conscious of all the things that aren’t going as I would ideally wish in my life, but thinking about the things that are actually fine makes me appreciate the things that I have and the things that I have done or am doing. It makes me appreciate myself more.