Evaluation is key to progress.
Think about it. Companies have quarterly reviews to make sure they’re on the right track and make adjustments to stay competitive. Professional sports teams have post-game meetings and review game tape to see what they can do better. Software teams retrospect on their last release or sprint to figure out how they can improve their output or velocity for the next one.
As driven, motivated, creative individuals, we should be applying some of the rigor, focus, and measurement these groups do to our own lives to make sure we’re maximizing our own important resources – time, energy, and attention.
When we have limited time and attention, we need to be careful how we spend it. I’m a huge fan of minimalism – the concept that removing the unnecessary and superfluous from your life allows you to give more of yourself and your energy to what is important. But just like making progress and failing, using minimalism effectively requires evaluation – of yourself, your possessions, and most importantly, your attention.
Lately I’ve been moving forward on many of my goals, making good progress – but some, such as writing, have been creating some friction, and I’m not sure why. I’ve also been creating stress for myself in areas I don’t think I need to be. I love to write, so why is it causing me so much anxiety lately?
This is why I’m taking a hiatus from writing this blog. Call it an “evaluation vacation”.
I’ve been writing and posting on this blog for around 9 months now, and it’s time for me to evaluate what I really want from this blog and from my writing habit in general. I love writing, and posting here is one way I express that. However, there may be other ways. Or, I may be able to share ideas more effectively here by changing things up. Right now I’m not sure if the way I’m approaching writing here is the most beneficial to my own goals, and the most helpful to all of you.
So I’m taking a step back to adjust. Without doing that, I’m doomed to continue on a path that I may or may not know is the right one. So I hold experimentation and evaluation in very high regard.
No matter what I find, I’ll return here to report what I pondered, evaluated, and ultimately, decided. I expect this exercise to be eye opening and, most importantly, helpful in continuing to focus my goals.
And if you’re need to re-focus (or even if you don’t think you do), I recommend taking some time to evaluate as well. At the very least, you’ll discover that you’re still on the right track and can soldier on. Or you might find that by changing your approach results in much more enjoyment and a whole lot more progress in your goals. Or, you might find that you can jettison something from your life to make you more productive, focused, and happy.
Let me know what you find!