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The Weekly Retrospective - Issue #3

Brock Herion
Brock Herion
Welcome to issue #3 of The Weekly Retrospective, the newsletter where we reflect on the week we just had. In issue #2, we gained insight into what productivity was and the difference between being productive verses just being busy. By giving myself “work” to do constantly, I was stressing myself out and ended up being exhausted.
In this issue, we’re going to follow up on those ideas as well as get into some new insights setting goals and taking action to achieve them. There’s a lot to talk about, so let’s just jump right into it!

The Week of 9/19/2021 to 9/25/21
This week I began my schedule shift away from 4:30 am. As I had said in the last issue, I was getting up that early and just grinding out a ton of work in the mornings, then turning around and working an eight-hour day. After that, I still had to do things like cook dinner, do a house straighten up, and continue working on any project tasks left unfinished from the morning.
I ended up feeling exhausted and stressed out. My to-do lists and task backlog kept growing and I wouldn’t finish any tasks I had set out to do. My habit tracking list kept growing and instead of feeling like I was making any real progress or change, I was just going through motions and ticking off boxes.
What went well?
I made a few small changes in how I start the day. Number one was that instead of giving myself a set time to wake up, I changed it to a range of 5 am to 6 am. This way, should I end up in bed a little later because I get wrapped up in my book, I can still get a full night’s sleep and feel well-rested. This small change paid off in dividends this week. I feel much less tired and have more energy throughout the day.
The second thing I did, and I have to thank my Twitter community for this piece of advice, was to drastically cut my daily task list. I use the Ugmok card system for daily, monthly, and yearly tasks/goals. What’s nice about it is its simplicity. I am writing down and tracking each task by hand, making me more likely to remember and do it. One of my Twitter friends had suggested to me that I should cap myself at three very specific tasks a day. Once I did that, I found I was getting through the things I had put down. Limiting myself to three things and being as specific as I possibly could be made completing things much easier.
The third and final thing I did was put my habit journal in the drawer. I need to take some time to reevaluate it, but the motivation was the what I had on there turned into to-do’s as opposed to actual habit building. It was just more things that I wanted to do in a day as opposed to habits that were just coming automatically to me. My plan is to revisit Atomic Habits by James Clear to see if I can have any more takeaways from him.
My plan, for the time being, is to come back to a habit journal in October and to drastically narrow its scope. I also plan to track sleep, water intake, and goal progress alongside it. Each habit I try and build will revolve around a specific skill or skill set I would like to acquire. For October, I am planning on focusing on habits to make me more studious. I plan on focusing things on daily journaling, writing blog posts, and actively reading and taking notes on lessons I’ve learned from the book I’m currently on.
What could have gone better?
While the changes I’ve made so far have helped, I still don’t have a good grasp on managing my day. For example, sometimes I decide to shower in the morning instead of the evening, or I decide to make coffee before or whatever. I don’t have a set flow to my day and suddenly shifting between things is pretty jarring.
Human beings cannot multitask. Our brains are designed to handle one task at a time and jumping between things is not good for us. The time it takes to get into something after context switch takes time to get into the newer task. This is something I struggle with constantly.
I bounce around from thing to thing without a reason or rhyme. It hurts my productivity and focuses throughout the day. I don’t have a great routine or system for my morning or while I’m working on a project. Staying focused on something for long periods of time is also something that’s hard for humans to do. My issue stems from trying to have these long sessions of extreme focus and then get pulled out of the state of focus. I then end up doing tasks that don’t really have anything to do with what I was working on and then have to spend time finding my rhythm again.
My plan to address this will be two-fold, one is using something like a Pomodoro timer and building breaks in, and two, building out morning and nightly routines. That goes along with my habit building. With those, the plan is to stop wasting time on things and to accomplish more meaningful goals in a day.
What did I learn?
So far, we’ve seen that there is a current gap in my focus and getting tasks done. We learned about the importance of taking care of your health first and about what setting goals and being productive really is. While I do plan on addressing it, there was something more profound in terms of learning this week.
Sam and I were fortunate enough to go and see Daymond John speak at her university. Daymond is the founder of the fashion brand Fubu and a shark on ABC’s SharkTank. He told his story of how he started out and how he built his brand. He shared the lessons he learned along the way, both the successes and failures.
What was interesting was that his story was similar to the story Robert Kiyosaki tells in Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It’s the same lessons are random people on YouTube share when they share their own learning and successes with you. There are common, underlying themes to all of their stories.
You have to have a goal. You cannot accomplish anything if you don’t have a goal to work towards. Goals then need to be broken into action items, small achievable tasks that will push you closer and closer to it. Do your research, know what moves will be the best for you. If you’re starting a business, you have to know how your product works and study your markets. A goal is worthless if you don’t put time into it! You will make mistakes and fail, but that’s better than doing nothing at all.
You also need to love what you do and love those around you. If you don’t have love, you’ll be miserable and unhappy. Money is not an indicator of success or happiness. It itself is merely an exchange for goods. Success is achieving the goals you set out to achieve, it’s being happy and fulfilled with yourself and your life. You can want to have a lot of money, but it means nothing if you’re unhappy.
Remember to take care of yourself and never once doubt your worth. You can pitch a product or idea to someone but if you can’t sell yourself and your passion for it, others won’t be interested in it. Love what you’re doing and love yourself.
Success has nothing to do with how big your wallet is, but has everything to do with how big your heart is.
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Brock Herion
Brock Herion @brockherion

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