It is almost the end of January, but I believe it is still a good time to make some New Year’s resolutions. Today I want to describe one of mine, which I believe could be a good fit for many of us.
As you know, it is very simple to make resolutions but much harder to fulfill them. So before I reveal it, let me tell you why I believe I will keep it:
- it is not hard to do,
- no special equipment/weather/mood required,
- doesn’t take much time,
- requires only a little bit of preparation,
- I have heard many people saying it is a very valuable habit.
And last but not least:
- I have first started doing it and I already like it (and only later decided to make it my resolution – usually first you take a resolution and then you start).
- And the resolution itself is very, very simple: I decided to perform a short (5-10 minutes) retrospective of my work achievements each week. Have I done what I promised (to myself or to others)? Have I worked on really important stuff or maybe I spent my time doing 2nd rate stuff? Have I started new tasks without closing the older ones? And so on.
- In order to be able to do that, I take notes every day before leaving the office: few bullet points with major things I have been busy with. Then, on Fridays (I set up a reminder so I don’t forget it) I go through the notes from the last week and ask myself questions. And then I write down some TODOs – like “do X – don’t wait any longer” – but also I praise myself – e.g. “good job with Y!”.
After three weeks I already have few observations and ideas:
- Maybe Monday would be better, so my TODO list was kind of fresh and I would be able to jump into the action without waiting for the weekend to pass.
- Why only work achievements? Why not introduce the same idea to my family life?
- A week is kind of long, at least in some cases. Wouldn’t it be better to have it twice a week or daily to shorten the feedback loop? I’m not sure.
- I do not have a good way of reminding me about the TODOs I created during the review. A sticker on the monitor doesn’t work for me – somehow after an hour it is like I don’t notice it anymore. Maybe I should set up a reminder for this as well so e.g. every day I got reminded about things I decided to do?
- I have already been able to achieve some small victories (e.g. doing some stuff I have been putting off for weeks…) so I can say it works for me. So I plan to continue.
There is still time to change this year into something more valuable. Why don’t you give a try to this self-retro idea? I hope it helps you.