But I haven’t been playing fair. Call me the note sharing fairy, cos while I come
A series of topic-related synchronicities later, I’ve
Why I will (try not to) spend a disproportionate amount of time on structuring
One of the reasons I’ve always been fascinated by any ongoing public record-keeping project is people’s willingness to start off with an MVP and keep on versioning up forever and ever and ever. There never seems to be a point at which they reach an official launch point. Instead, they just keep letting it grow and change right alongside them.
If this was an analogy for life, I’d totally get it.
So my first-ever open access entry also serves as a disclaimer to self. While I can (and probably will) devote more hours than I need to or should to getting structure just right, there’s no Goldilocks Quotient here.
I know the structure that works in the privacy of my own notebook won’t work on Medium (I plan on adding mine to the Weeknot.es community over there). My current system is highly customised and very specific to what I need to jot down for personal and professional growth, and how I’d like to see that organised. While I’ll happily rework it for the Medium medium (does anyone else experience grammar-guilt when they use the word “medium” on Medium?), it’ll keep on evolving. Just like my original system did and still does.
(If this paragraph ends up being the longest one in this post, I rest my case.)
How I’m structuring my weeknotes
Since this is a scary project (some people bungee jump, I publish my weekly reflections — my adrenal glands are weird like that), I’m doing an Austin Kleon and stealing like an artist. There aren’t actually all that many people publishing theirs online. If there’s anyone who understands why, you’re reading her.
When to weeknote
Buster Benson does his at the start of the week. I like that as a
- How the previous week went
- This week will be good if…
But I’m a loquacious girl who welcomes death by complexity. Investing time at the end of each week to extrapolate what I did, why I did it, and how that worked out for me, is my lifeblood. And since what I
Since I work from home and work can be any day or no day, Sunday is an arbitrary day for me to use as the end of the workweek. But I’ve experimented with every other day and Sunday seems to just be a natural fit for weekly reflection. Years of conditioning coupled with hard copy diaries that decide for you are powerful incentives here.
Plus, it might just be my imagination (my imagination, mind you, is everything), but a Sunday day just *feels* different. Even though I live in a foreign country surrounded by people who work pretty much seven days a week or not at all. So it’s not like there’s a tangible weekend vibe happening in the neighbourhood. All things considered, I’ll be sticking to my usual schedule.
What to weeknote
The week as/in song
Dan Barrett subtitles each weeknote with a theme song. That reminded me of the love affair I had with representing life events using song titles back when I was without child and thus had free time. No magic time portal has since opened ensuring that I’ll have open calendar slots during which to choose a song title that’ll encapsulate 10,080 minutes into an average of four words. But I’m
What kind of week it was
What I liked about Buster’s weeknotes is his “Week of the X” categorisation. I’m not sure what the thinking behind it is, but it looks to be only a unique-ish identifier in that unless he’s planning on reusing the same emojis a year later, he’ll run out of icons
Though I have a general plan of what a week might look like, my weeks have a life of their own. They unfold organically. Some weeks are slow starters, others never pick up speed, while others race around the Olympic track. It’s always fun to reflect on the week and decide where it
But the way I’ve done it so far has been far too serious and KPIs-style. There are weeks when I’m almost hesitant to sit down for a meeting with myself because I can already feel the cold hard judgement staring back at me.
“I know you didn’t finish this or even start that … but what do you mean you didn’t finish this or start that? What’s your revised deadline, please? I need a ten-point action plan plus a Gantt chart to be sure you’ll make good on this. On my desk. By 5pm today.”
A major part of my productivity journey is learning to be kinder to myself. With a history of burnout, I’ve learned the hard way that being happy with where I’m at is far more important than where I’m at.
Since I’ve been avoiding my
- Week of the Unicorn 🦄
- Week of the Owl 🦉
- Week of the Chick 🐣
- Week of the Eagle 🦅
- Week of the Butterfly 🦋
- Week of the Bee 🐝
- Week of the Rhinoceros 🦏
- Week of the Bull 🐃
- Week of the Snail 🐌
- Week of the Crab 🦀
I’ll do a follow-up post on what these qualifiers mean (and keep adding to that list as new ones show up). For now, this bunch just about sums up my recent weekly themes.
Why it was that kind of week
I’ve always been in the Matt Webb camp with weekly reflection. Anything goes. One week it might be as lengthy as a longish novella, and the next so short it’ll put Twitter minimalists to shame.
I have a daily journal practice that I’ve kept up for years. Something that resembles Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages. Yet until I started doing weekly review and reflect sessions, I hardly ever went back to daily entries to scoop the cream off the top. Since a journal entry can be as interesting as pondering a new theory or as mind-numbingly boring as reminding myself to do the laundry, it’s important to sift through the pay dirt and extract the motherlode. That’s Part One of my weeknotes.
Part Two is meta. With a snapshot of my week-in-days in hand, I can then ask myself:
- Did the week live up to my expectations?
- How did this make me feel? *
- What went well?
- What sure as hell didn’t?
- What do I keep and what do I eliminate right here, right now?
- What did I learn?
* Couch t
I won’t be going my usual route. My usual route is in fact way more structured than the sample extract above.
The mishmash that is Phil Gyford’s stuff is
The point of it all – broadly
This’ll translate, ever so loosely, into:
- Work stuff
- What I wrote
- Goals stuff
- More what I wrote
- Research stuff
- What I read/watched/listened to
Procrastiwriting weeknotes into being
Apparently, that isn’t a thing yet. So I’ll just have to get down and dirty with it and make a move on Week 1. Onwards!