How I work – re-evaluating my systems

Next week begins the third quarter of the year. I find it a good time to reevaluate my systems in a bit more detail than I did at the start of April. Why? My reasons are two-fold. First, I have more data to evaluate. Most of my logbooks last about six months, so it’s a good time to look as I prepare to jump to a new book. Second, while I’m constantly reviewing and making small changes to my processes I don’t often stop to look at the whole picture from a bit of distance. This Q2 review and Q3 planning time is perfect for that.

Six months of data

As I turn through the pages of my planner and look in the index of my log book, I look quickly for trends. I’m not performing a detailed analysis but look through to see if I can quickly see repeated actions or anomalies. Did they affect my work in a positive or negative way?

Ongoing review with small modifications

With daily, weekly, and monthly reviews I’ve been making small changes throughout the year. Really this is known as Kaizen (改善), or “continual improvement”. I find that the end of June is a good time to stop and look at all the changes and make sure I’ve documented what I now do differently so I can be consistent in the future.

How I enact changes

I do not change multiple things in the same week if I’m able to avoid it. I’ll make a change and live with it for at least a week before adding in the next one. During this new habit forming process I am highly attuned to the change to see if it’s simply the novel factor making it work, or if it is actually beneficial to me and my systems.

Do you pause to re-evaluate your systems?

photo of a black & white foster kitten asleep on a Quo Vadis Principal planner.

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