A deliberate approach to improving your management skills requires analysis and reflection. It’s important to record what and how you practice, the results of new tools or techniques, and your daily management observations.
In Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg describes how William Carlos Williams, a pediatrician and poet, often wrote on prescription pads between patient visits. As a result, his works contain many prescription-pad-sized poems. I’m reminded of this story whenever I start a fresh notebook. “Our tools affect the way we form our thoughts.”
How you record your practice is a personal choice but I recommend experimenting with different formats. If your day is spent in front of a keyboard, using pen and paper for your management observations may offer fresh inspiration. If your workspace is covered in post-it notes, transferring those thoughts to a Word document or electronic journal may help you see themes and patterns. Blogging your practice can also be productive, as it forces you to organize your thoughts for others to read.
If you struggle with remembering to record your practice, iDoneThis offers a free service that I’ve found useful. They send you a reminder email at the end of each day and you simply reply with what you’ve accomplished. Your responses are automatically saved to your personal calendar for later review. To make this tool most effective, combine it with a scheduled block of time to reflect on your daily “dones” and draft a plan for integrating what worked into your management toolkit.
(Hat tip to Dan Pink for recommending iDoneThis.)
This post contains affiliate links to Powell’s Books.
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