“Thank you for explaining your Weekly Review system, how consistent are you with putting this into practice?”
That was the exact question of a student recently in a workshop. I explained how I used my system to combat information overload and how I stay on top of my long and short term goals. In this post I want to explain my answer a little.
On Practicing what you Preach and Being Hard on Yourself
To be honest, I am pretty consistent. I try not to screw up with weekly goals and I don’t. Only when I am on vacation I skip the weekly review and occasionally I keep it short (always resulting in a longer one the week after). When it comes to other systems, like using the Eisenhower Matrix, Powernapping or trying to read a book every two weeks I am not doing that well, all the time. And that’s OK.
When you are working toward a goal progress is important and you can set up systems to reach those goals. Training yourself in habits such as “Mornings for Focus, Afternoons for Hustle” are great, but when you skip a day or you cannot manage it all, you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Everybody makes mistakes every once in a while and sometimes you need to screw up hard time in order to learn from it.
By allowing mistakes you are lowering the threshold to start, which is good.
I like to preach what I practice, but I do not always practice what I preach. Simply because I am always testing out different systems and these might work for a while, but not forever. Furthermore I am trying to make my workshops or blog posts broad, so when I tried a system for a while you might benefit from my experience, even if I don’t benefit anymore.
So, is it all just big words?
No, hell no. Even if you are not that strict on yourself all the time you grow over time. Maybe you tested a very rigorous To-Do application, but it didn’t work out. What do you use now? A simplified version or do you use nothing? I bet you are using some sort of system for your to-do’s now. That means you are better than the before and you are improving yourself over time.
The goal is not to be extremely strict to yourself, the goal is to be just strict enough so you keep growing.
If you are just improving yourself a little, you are improving more than nothing, which usually means you are only getting worse instead of better. Reddit user PeaceH posted an amazing post on /r/GetDisciplined, talking about comparing your personal development with finance. When you are growing steadily everyday it can compound to a lot over time. Just look at the index card below, where the 1.01 represents a very small growth every day and the 0.99 a little decrease every day (when you are doing nothing).
It shocked me. You don’t have to be strict in order to improve, you just need to be strict enough. I am starting reading some Stoicism, so I might change opinions on this in a couple of weeks, we’ll see.
As always, the Index Card. Good look on improving yourself, but enjoy the mistakes as well.
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