Fireball Chart: The Planning Tool You Can’t Live Without
By Jacey Eckhart
“Do you all know what a pie chart is? Or a donut chart?” said the instructor for our Visualization Board workshop. I joined the workshop at my yoga studio because I felt like I needed a big zing behind my Next Door job search. You know, something super positive and holistic, something that would reach out into the universe with cosmic fingers and draw goodness unto me.
Yeah, cosmic fingers. That’s a thing in yoga. Or it should be.
Because I was already kickin’ it in the cosmos with this first question of the day. Amazingly, I do know what pie charts are for. Pie charts are for pies. And they should always look like this:
And donut charts are for donuts and should always look like this:
Sadly, this was not the pie chart or donut chart she was talking about. Too bad cuz I really like pie. And donuts. Which is probably why I never make a lot of progress in yoga class.
Anyway, the instructor wanted us to reflect on how we currently spend the time in our lives by making a pie chart to reflect the percentages. “How much time do you spend on volunteering?” she said helpfully. “Exercise? Meditation? Alone time? Joy? Yoga?”
My buddy Heather started doing the math calculations to figure out her time. Rachael the computer engineer already had that figured out and was drawing. The college student sitting next to me sat staring at her paper. “I just can’t get my head around it.”
Me neither. I was kind of hating my pie chart because the amount of time I spend on those worthy activities is about, oh, three percent. Not once did the instructor mention we might put a pie chart section in for time spent unpacking hundreds of moving boxes, or finding someone to cut my hair so that I do not look like a man, or virtually touring the great houses of England on Netflix with that British cutie Mary Berry. There was no time allowed for anxiety shopping at Marshalls. There was no category labeled “Avoiding Things You Know You Should Do.”
No offense to the yoga lady, but I did not need a pie chart to know how I spent my time last year. Yes, I needed a visual. Visuals are awesome motivators. I needed one to serve as a motivator as I move forward on my Next Door Project.
So I took her little paper and while everyone else was drawing accurate pies, I made myself a Fireball Chart.
A Fireball Chart is also about how you spend your time, but with urgency. Imagine yourself in that creepy hallway of Next Doors and visualize an enormous fireball chasing you down. That would make you knock on those Doors a whole lot faster, right?
Your fireball is made of six things:
1. At the core, your most powerful motivator.
2. At the edge, the activity you can’t help but do well and often.
3. Something that feeds your soul.
4. Something that gives back to your world.
5. The thing that is uselessly burning up too much of your time.
6. The urgency—why is a change so necessary to your ultimate survival now?
Here is the Fireball Chart I made:
It is pretty darn accurate. It is also not the way I want to spend my time this year. I’ve got some ideas about how I am going to replace that big swath of anxiety, but I’m not doing them yet. All I know is that when I look at this Fireball Chart coming at me, I’m a lot more motivated to get on with it.
Download the Fireball Chart here and then send me a picture of yours!