2 min read

Weekly Update #10

Hi Friends,

As I mentioned in a previous letter, I use the Getting Things Done system for organizing my life and responsibilites. And as part of that system, every weekend I do a "weekly review" to clean up items from the past week and get oriented for the next one.

The weekly review has three steps:

  1. Get Clear
  2. Get Current
  3. Get Creative

Get Clear is about filing any stray items that came up during the week. Get Current is about checking off and moving around existing tasks so that your system reflects what happened in the previous week.

I want to talk a little about the third step, Get Creative. Get Creative is about looking to the future, at the Big Picture, asking yourself questions that might have a significant impact on your current trajectory. Things that might come out of a Get Creative session could be a new project, a side business, a workout habit, deciding to learn how to cook, etc.

This step is necessarily about opening the door for change. It's giving yourself a regular opportunity to change direction. Or at least, to consider directional changes that you might or might not take.

Over the last few weeks I've come to this step and not had much to say. And this week I wondered if this was a bad thing. Whether I was not being "creative" enough. What if this means I'm not a very creative person? Or what if it means I'm stifling my creativity somehow, and might that point to some deeper issue in my life?

But the opinion I landed on is this: There are times where creative reflection is productive because some change would be good, and there are other times when creative reflection is not productive because consistency is more important than change.

This phase where just keeping doing the same things you've been doing is what I might call the "post-change" phase. It's the time that comes after you've done some creative reflection and made a directional change based on that work. The direction you picked is a good one, one that will lead to a better life situation in some way, and what is needed now is good execution.

I'm squarely in a "post-change" phase at the moment. Over the past few months I've done some reorientation of my mindset and restructured my routines and habits. I did so based on some "creative" thinking about the big picture of my life, who I want to be and where I want to go.

One theme that runs through the changes I decided to make is long term payoff. The idea that big things don't happen all at once from a major exertion, but rather over years from consistently applying a manageable amount of force in the right direction. And the most important thing when deciding to adopt this strategy is to not quit.

So I'm ok with not coming up with anything groundbreaking in the Get Creative step of my weekly routine. I won't be cutting it out entirely. I think it's valuable to spend a few minutes every week just checking to see if there are any crazy ideas floating just below the surface that might not be so crazy after all. But the expectation is that whatever comes up during this time won't change anything. I'll still wake up the next day and execute on the plan.

Stay safe and see you next week ❤️