Saturday, January 10, 2009

That which is measured gets done.

The other day at my Letip meeting one of our members, Mikel Bruce, gave a great talk on goal setting.

One of the things he mentioned, which I particularly liked, was a tool called an awareness sheet. The idea is simple, write down all the things you want to do each day: exercise, eat diner as family, limit tv watching, floss etc… then at the end of each day, you check off what you’ve done

The important part here though isn’t in checking off what you’ve done. This is why you don’t check it off as you do it. The important part is the awareness of what you haven’t done. The benefit here is that it isn’t penalizing you for not doing it. It’s not like you have to do everything every day. It’s just making you aware of what you want to do, and if you’re doing it. However, this awareness will help you to actually do it.

Think of it as a small commercial, every night, reminding you what you want. Here’s a small picture of a sample month.

In the end, it's just measuring the habits you want. I'm also finding this useful for events. For example, an presentation awareness sheet. Just to keep me aware of all the details I want to improve when speaking.

3 comments: said...

I like it. Very Scrum-like, making your failures/limitations immediately obvious so you can decide what you want to do about them.

B-Man said...

For more information on this topic, see the book titled "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey.

OldFartDeveloper said...

I like it too. Increasingly I'm more and more liking lightweight solutions for everything, and this feels appropriately lightweight.

The only problem is what you suggest is TOO lightweight! Paper! I just can't get myself to drag a piece of paper and a pencil to update it with.

Now if I could get this to work as an IPhone app. :-) Seriously, I'll probably institute this in my Mac's notes and bounce them back and forth with my iPod.

Thanks for the idea.