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Melissa Shanahan

#214: Monday Map/Friday Wrap: Planning Your Time

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The Monday Map/Friday Wrap process is one of the most fruitful pieces of work Melissa does with her members and clients. It’s what gets them dialed in with intention and discipline to make their plans come to life. There is immense value in using the Monday Map/Friday Wrap process, however, there is a caveat.

Whether you’ve already opted in for the Monday Map/Friday Wrap guide or it’s a brand new concept to you, without crystal clear clarity around your goals and priorities, the truth is it’s just a cute tool. While it’s far from a quick fix or magic pill that will solve for everything in your business, it will help you cover more ground in less time and with greater ease.

Listen in this week as Melissa gives you a rundown of the Monday Map/Friday Wrap process and what is required to utilize this tool effectively. She’s showing you what it means to strategically plan your time and the importance of a comprehensive plan. And make sure to tune in next week to hear the other side of the coin when it comes to using this process: honoring your plan.

If you’re a law firm owner, Mastery Group is the way for you to work with Melissa. This program consists of quarterly strategic planning facilitated with guidance and community every step of the way. Enrollment will be opening soon, so join the waitlist right now to grab one of the limited seats!

Show Notes:

What You’ll Discover:

• Why the Monday Map/Friday Wrap is just a cute tool when you don't have clarity.

• What’s required of you to start seeing the true power of the Monday Map/Friday Wrap process.

• 3 core factors that will allow you make progress.

• How slowing down to use the Monday Map/Friday Wrap process helps you speed up.

• The difference between planning your time and honoring your plan.

• What happens when you don’t strategically plan your time.

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Full Episode Transcript:

Download Transcript PDF

I’m Melissa Shanahan, and this is The Law Firm Owner Podcast Episode #214.

Welcome to The Law Firm Owner Podcast powered by Velocity Work for owners who want to grow a firm that gives them the life they want, get crystal clear on where you're going, take planning seriously, and honor your plan like a pro. This is the work that creates Velocity.

Hi, everyone, welcome to this week's episode. We are going to dive in to Monday Map/Friday Wrap, the process. I've never really done this on the podcast. I did an episode, it was December, and I think it was 2021, that covered it really high level. We've always had a Monday Map/Friday Wrap PDF guide that people could opt in and get on our website.

It's so funny though, when I look back, I have spent the majority of my focus with Monday Map/Friday Wrap with members, and with clients. Not externally focused on the world, the listeners, the other law firm owners that know about Velocity Work, but they don't engage with us in a way where I can dig in with them.

So, I spend my time with members and clients on this stuff, and it is a blast. It is one of the most fruitful pieces on my work with someone. It’s watching them come to life, watching their productivity come to life, watching them become more intentional, more disciplined, watching them fly further, faster. That is so fun. I will do that all day, every day.

Now, you can't practice Monday Map/Friday Wrap to the extent that you should unless you have goals and things that you're specifically aiming for and priorities that you said matter, and so you have to get these things done. That's when Monday Map/Friday Wrap gets really interesting, because it becomes a tool that shapes everything. Everything.

So, I think that's part of why I haven't focused externally to the world with this. I have some, and we'll talk about that in a moment, but unless you have the clarity that my company facilitates, in terms of exactly what you are aiming for and exactly what needs to happen in order to bring that aim to life, then Monday Map is a cute tool.

Monday Map, for people who do have that clarity, becomes like gasoline on fire. So, it feels a little cheap to talk about Monday Map on the podcast, because I'm talking to many, many, many, many people who don't have clarity on exactly what their goals are. You know how I know that? It's because when people get on consults with me or they reach out…

Which I love, love, talking to law firm owners who are interested in this stuff. There is zero judgment with what I'm getting ready to say, it just is the truth. It is what it is. People get on consults with me, and they do not have clarity about what they're aiming for. They may be longtime listeners of the podcast, and they don't have goals.

There's no judgment about that. I will ask them specifically what are their goals, and they give a really vague answer. I'll ask other specific questions that they can't answer. They are going to have to go look it up, and it's going to be kind of hard to get their hands on some really basic stuff. Again, there isn't judgment for it. That's not a problem, we can fix all that. We will get you clear.

But if you give someone that's in that spot, with this lack of clarity, if you give them this tool of Monday Map, it will not go very far for them because they don't have clarity. Internally, I can provide that clarity, and I can get people to be really clear for themselves. Externally, I can't.

So, it feels like, again, I'm putting out this cute little tool, little productivity tool. People who are really into time management, and know that they need to do better with it, indulge in it, and then it drops. It is because they do not have what they need, in order for this tool to be the gasoline on the fire.

Though I have understood these concepts I'm sharing with you for a very long time, because of my history, my background, experience, etc., it really hit me in the face what it looks like for someone to apply a tool like this without having clarity on what they're actually aiming for.

I was leading a free daily accountability group for law firm owners the month that COVID happened. I did it as a reaction to COVID because I saw in the forums and different Facebook groups that law firm owners were freaking out, just like every other business owner, right?

But they weren't focusing on where they had control. They were letting themselves spin out tons of worry. I knew that my best place, in terms of helping serve these people, was just to get them focused. So, I did a daily accountability group. There was a small number of law firm owners that took me up on this. Every day they would come, and just to help focus them in, I said, “What is the one thing you're going to do today?”

They would say what they're going to get done, and the next day they show up, and I asked, “Did you get that thing done, yes or no? What's the lesson learned? Then, what's the one thing you're going to do today?” We just did this on repeat for a whole month. Now, this was helpful, it did focus them in. But what I realized very quickly was that they were all over the place.

Yes, they were getting things done. But it was like this thing over there, then this thing over here, something with marketing, something with a system and process, and something with SEO. It was like every day was something very different.

So, the things that they were getting done, it was this disjointed bundle of things that they would get done because they said they would get them done. Because it was disjointed, they weren't really getting anywhere. They weren't really experiencing the kind of focus that I had intended for them to experience. I realized, two weeks into this thing, “Oh, this feels schizophrenic.” That's the way it felt. Everybody was getting things done, but in a very scattered way.

This is not productivity. This is not what I mean. Then, it helped me shape, and put into words, some of the really important concepts that matter if you want to make real progress. So, that's been my hesitancy. That's been the reason that I haven't chosen to focus on this on the podcast. Because I know, that if I put this out into the world in a way that just makes this tool, on its own, sound powerful, I am doing a disservice.

I'm misleading you as a listener, and that's irresponsible. So, I don't think I've really figured out how to present this tool responsibly. Everything I've just said so far in this podcast, is meant to be a disclaimer for this tool. This tool is not a quick fix. It's not a magic pill.

However, this tool will change your life, if you are willing to do the work to get clear prior to applying this. Without that, it doesn't have legs. I'm not saying that no good would come from it. But you'll never see the power of this process unless you do the work of getting clear first. Okay, well, with that, let's dig in to Monday Map Friday Wrap.

All right, when you opt in to receive the Monday Map/Friday Wrap guide, here's what you're going to get… which actually just got revamped this year. You probably knew that if you listen to the podcast. But we have updated the guide. We spent a ton of time and resources on this in February, March and April.

Essentially, the old guide was shorter and didn't go into specifics and details, the “why” behind the “what,” how to apply this in specific scenarios, and how to think about things differently. It was just a five-step process, and if you followed that process, then it would be helpful. But the truth is, there's a lot of nuance in there.

This new PDF guide is meant to really showcase the nuance, and help people understand things that were implied, really, with the first PDF guide. This PDF guide, there are three pieces. One is the foundational concepts, that's a PDF in and of itself. It takes about 20 minutes or less to read all the way through, if you're going to read everything.

We do have a quick start guide for that. So, if you're the kind of person who is just not going to read all of the words in this PDF, there are some key takeaways at the top of each section, you can just read those. So, it could go much more quickly if that is what you prefer. You'll still get what you need in terms of concepts to understand.

Now, the second piece to the Monday Map, Friday Wrap guide is the playbook; the Monday Map/Friday Wrap playbook. This goes through all the things, like tactically how you get it done. So, it's not just foundational concepts and understanding, which you need if you really want to give this legs, but then it's also the steps outlined.

Then, the third thing is a cheat sheet. That is really meant for people who have been practicing this and they're in a groove. They don't need the playbook in front of them anymore, but they do need a cheat sheet or a guide. That's what the third piece is.

Today, we are going to be talking about some of what is in the foundational concepts. In the subsequent episodes, I will move through to finish teaching on the foundational concepts, we will move into the playbook. The cheat sheet really isn't needed here, because it's just a condensed version. So, I won't be going into that. But that is available when you opt in for this tool.

Now at this point, what I think is very clear if you have listened to this podcast for any length of time, is that my whole company is set up on three things: Knowing what you're aiming for. Making a smart, strong plan. Honoring that plan.

When you focus on these factors, it sets you apart. It helps you make progress and keep moving forward in the ways you want to. So, there are two applications of this inside of my company; the macro application, which is annual quarterly strategic planning. So, that is applying those three factors to the bigger scope of things. When you do that planning, it ensures that your goals, your objectives, are in line with your long-term vision.

That is something we facilitate inside. Then, there is the micro application of these three factors. The micro application is when you zoom in on the upcoming weeks. It helps you align your short-term actions and activities with your broader goals, to maximize productivity and efficiency. So, there’s a macro application, and a micro application.

Now, as a part of the micro application, that is where Monday Map/Friday Wrap comes in. It's not the only thing that we do internally to help with the micro application, but it is a major player. This routine, this practice, of Monday Map/Friday Wrap puts you in the driver's seat of your time, and of the results.

That allows you to cover more ground in less time, and with greater ease, which is a big key to what we do. It's not at the cost of you; you start to feel a sense of ease with this. This whole process usually takes about an hour a week if you are focused. You turn off your distractions, dings, pings, all the things, you sit down, and you set a timer and you focus on planning out your week.

It usually takes about an hour. For some people it takes a little less. When you're newer, sometimes it takes a little more. That's a big ask, right? Like I'm talking to a group of people here that are extremely… have packed schedules… and are fighting to get more time for themselves.

So, when I say that a lot of people are like, “Oh, hell, no, I'm not doing that. I don't have time to sit down for an hour.” However, when you take time to do this, it saves you time in your future. So, planning, sitting down; it's like slowing down to speed up. Having discipline to do it anyway, even though you don't feel like you have time to give to these things, it will make your life better.

It will make your upcoming week have more ease, more flow, and you'll get more done. For any of you out there who might be thinking, “I don't have that time to give,” consider for a moment that you may be the poster child for who needs this the most. Now, when you put Monday Map into practice, you plan and then you honor your plan, week over week.

When you sit down to do this work, when it comes to planning, then the best part of that is, yes, you do get hours back in your week because of how well you've planned, and because of how intentional you're being. But those extra hours, they typically hold. Meaning, the time you get back, it's not just a one-time gain, but there's a recurring benefit week after week. There's a cumulative effect of this.

That allows you to focus on the things that matter most. Give more attention, more time, to the things that matter the most week over week over week. Okay, so with Monday Map, we have planning your time, and then we have honoring your plan. Those are two different things. I'm going to talk first about planning your time.

Generally speaking, effective planning is absolutely necessary for success in any area of life. So, whether it's personal or professional, thoughtful planning helps you stay organized, focused, on track. It will lead you, ultimately, to greater productivity, success, fulfillment, all the things.

When it comes to planning your time, time is your currency. So, you better plan how you're going to spend it. The way you allocate the minutes of your day is wildly important. Each minute contributes to the hours that make up your day. Those hours, those construct your days. Those days become weeks, which become months, and then, eventually, years.

It matters, the way you allocate the minutes of your day matters. Now, time is your currency, so you need to use your time really well, spend your time really well. You can't control time, but you can control how you use time, making the most of every minute by being intentional.

So, I think we can all agree that when it comes to planning your time, the stakes are high. Now, there's a difference between planning your time and strategically planning your time. Same thing with plans that people make for their firms. People make all kinds of plans. But strategically planning is different.

When you're thinking about your time, strategically planning your time becomes less about what tasks you're going to accomplish, and more about the activities that align you with your longer-term goals. Without time planning in this way, you will inevitably miss opportunities, your productivity will decline, and your progress towards what you really want is hindered.

But if you do this effectively, if you do strategically plan your time, that means you can dedicate enough time to the activities that matter the most, and move the needle towards your goals, and with greater ease. So, to maximize the time you have, you must plan strategically.

As you will see, in the playbook, when we get to that part, it walks you through how to set yourself up to win at this game. That is going to reduce stress. It's going to increase your confidence. There's all kinds of byproducts that come out of the process of strategically planning your time.

Let's talk about, for a second, the importance of a comprehensive plan. Strategic means that this is your best plan for what's going to work to keep you on track for the things that you really want. Something that most people forget about is downtime, or leisure, rest, rejuvenation, whatever you want to call it. I'm not going to harp too much on that here on this podcast. I've done episodes on this before.

But you cannot underestimate how important downtime is. We plan our calendars, and when you look at the plans we've made, oftentimes it looks like we need to be a robot in order to get through all of that, we need to be a machine.

Now, the reason I'm bringing this up is because the nature of your work, if you are listening to this podcast, the nature of your work and of your existence is such that you are going to have phases or periods where it's more intense than others. Where you're going to be pushing yourself harder than in other phases, for example.

However, you need to have an awareness about that and know when you are in a phase where you're going to push harder, so that you are intentionally pushing harder for a set period of time. You're going to be very intentional about that. What doesn't get to not be thought through, if you're really going to strategically plan, is downtime. How are you going to rest and rejuvenate? What does that look like?

It helps to think about that as recovery. When are you going to recover? Because we are playing the long game, folks. We are not running a sprint; we are going the distance. So, how are you going to make sure that you have recovery built into your plan consistently? You're taking care of yourself, so that you don't become a shell of yourself.

For many people, downtime seems hard because it's like, what are you going to do to schedule in downtime? Am I just supposed to do nothing? Is that what recovery looks like? You get to decide that, but it doesn't necessarily mean doing nothing.

It can involve leisure activities; hobbies, spending time with loved ones, taking care of your physical health, taking care of your mental health, meditation, therapy. Whatever helps you step away from the work, be able to decompress, focus on other things, so that it rounds you out.

When you can do that, it allows you to step up, you are more present and more powerful in every area of life. Not just work, but certainly, work as well. Downtime is a part of strategically planning your time. If it's not considered, that means you are not strategically planning. It's just a plan without the thoughtfulness that it deserves.

Okay, that's what I have for you this week, my friends. If you are a member or a client and you want to deepen your practice with Monday Map/Friday Wrap, I highly suggest you listen to this, along with, or prior to, sitting down to actually plan your time, plan your week.

If you're not a member or a client, and you would like to practice this, use this again, go get the free PDF guide that you can get at Once you have that in your hands, you can use this to accompany the work that you're doing there.

Next week, I will be talking all about honoring your plan. Which is the other side of the coin that is imperative to see the results that you want to create. So, we're going to be talking about that. Because there's some things about your brain you need to understand, and the more you understand them, the better off you'll be. We will dig into that next week, and then then we're going to go into the playbook from there.

Alright, everyone have a wonderful week. I'll see you here next Tuesday.

Hey, you may not know this, but there's a free guide for a process I teach called Monday Map/ Friday Wrap. If you go to, it's all yours. It's about how to plan your time and honor your plans. So, that week over week, more work that moves the needle is getting done in less time. Go to to get your free copy.

Thank you for listening to The Law Firm Owner Podcast. If you're ready to get clearer on your vision, data, and mindset, then head over to where you can plug in to Quarterly Strategic Planning, with accountability and coaching in between. This is the work that creates Velocity.

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