I used to weekly review almost religiously. I fell out of the habit somewhere along the way though I cannot recall when or why. This week I am restarting this habit yet again (some false starts exist in my timeline).
Re-starting the weekly review habit means defining what I’m going to do differently this time to help make it stick.
Make it fun and positive
Maintenance mode isn’t something I generally enjoy, but I love fixing things. Looking at week from the perspective of what would I do differently and what do I want to instead of something more historical should help me keep focus.
Think about what …
What do I like? I like listening to jazz. I like when I speak Japanese – not perfect Japanese but when I try. I like my house clean. I like when I have a project. I like travel. I like spending time with family and friends. I like reading, eating, drinking, writing, and getting a shave & haircut.
… Don’t think about why
The why behind doing something, at least for me, ties me up in guilt, regret, and justification. I tent to phrase my “why” statements in those terms, which isn’t actually useful.
Do I need to think about why I like the above things? No. Do I need to explain to others why I like these things? No. Spending time defining these in terms of “why” adds no value and potentially reduces my enjoyment of them. If I think something might be out of the main stream, I will change the “why” into defensive statements and start to question them.
And yes, this post is a bit of why albeit with a lot more what.
Schedule the time, value the effort spent, and honor it
Honoring my time and the value of the weekly review is key to this. The items above are to help make this a joy and not a chore.
We measure what we value
The weekly review (with monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews) are meant as a checkpoint and opportunity to measure how I’m doing as me. While the weekly review is on the calendar week, the others are triggered off of 19 January because they are about me, my growth, and my development.
What am I doing, in practical terms?
There are several buckets I’m reviewing weekly. They are:
- Goals: Personal and Professional
- Deliberate Practice (DP): Japan & Japanese
- DP: Emacs
- DP: Heath – physical, mental, emotional
- DP: Stoicism
- Getting Things Done (GTD) capture and processing
- House cleaning, specifically things like washing sheets and windows (in totally different ways)
- Planning, including block scheduling office hours for the coming week
The Deliberate Practice items are done daily. The weekly review is to measure how I’m doing on them, both in effort spent and how I feel about my progress.
The other thing I do, which I may make into a weekly habit, is my batch food preparation. I will press my InstantPot into service making pulled chicken, rice, and other things for the week’s meals.
Is this too much?
It is a lot to start. Subsequent weekly reviews should reduce the effort. In a few weeks I want to reach a point where I spend more time planning and less reviewing.
What am I not doing?
I’m not looking at social media/SNS at all. I’m not looking at my posts. I’m not looking at work aside from my professional goals and planning for the coming week’s calendar.
Work items are best thought about and planned on company time and not on personal time. Personal and work time blend a bit in a consultant’s life. In Japan, where office hours are the norm, it’s easier to make the distinction. To that end, one of the things I am doing in my weekly review is setting my office hours for the week via block scheduling.