Something about my retro process has been bugging me for a while.
For the last several weeks it’s consisted mostly of me acknowledging something I already knew—that I’ve been busy, behind, and largely failing to meet my goals.
And the thing is—that’s wrong. I haven’t been failing, my priorities have been changing.
I shouldn’t be beating myself up because I chose to spend time with friends and family or do consulting work instead of writing another blog about software, I should be applauding myself—much like I applauded myself for going hiking and surfing instead of working in the early days of my sabbatical.
In the past month I’ve been holding myself accountable to a false standard. A standard based on goals I set that only represent a slice of what my true priorities are. Goals that only acknowledge a “professional” life (whatever that means).
I don’t claim to have a whole lot figured out—in reality I seem to feel dumber and more confused with each passing day. But one thing I do feel good about recognizing in the last year is that at its core I can boil my priorities down to a very small number of key attributes which—if achieved—should make for what I can call a “good life”.
Happiness. Income. Purpose.
The entire high-level goal of the retro process should be to check-in that I’m working towards those core attributes.
Am I enjoying what I’m doing?
Am I making enough money?
Do I feel passionate about the work?
If the answer to those things is “yes” than it shouldn’t matter how many hours I log, how many blog posts I write, or how many stated goals I succeeded or failed at. So why build that into the process?
This week—and maybe moving forward (I certainly don’t currently have the confidence to predict anything about how I’m going to feel a week from now)—I’m going to just ask myself two questions and see how they go.
These questions are:
- Did I enjoy the week?
- Am I happy with how I spent my time?
This week the answers are 1) yes, and 2) yes!
I don’t really feel the need to elaborate, so I’m not going to. Throwing out structure is pretty liberating!
Here are the time wheels for completeness.
Till next time!