So here they are, the results for the last two weeks of using the third habit –PLAN.

Week 1,

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
MITs scheduled   2    3    3    3    2    3    2
MITs remaining   0    1    0    0    1    0    1

Week 2,

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
MITs scheduled    2    3    4    2    2    3    3
MITs remaining    0    0    2    2    1    1    3
First, note that I totally forgot to keep track of the big rocks. Yes, I mess things up.
But the main result is there. The first week has an average result of 15 out of 18 MITs done. That’s an awesome result.
The second week is a bit more messy. 10 out of 19. Almost half of the MITs were not completed (which means, they were transferred to the next day). The reason for this is:
  • I messed up a bit. Look at the last day. I was playing videogames for about 4 hours that day. Shit happens, but sometimes we have to lower the expectations. We can’t be perfect 100% of the time. 80%, yes, and that’s my overall goal. Do not punish yourself for messing up from time to time. Look, in fact, that’s not bad. After you mess up, you obtain a psychological response, like telling to yourself “it won’t happen again!”. It helps you to remember your weaknesses, to be aware of them.
  • The goals I set couldn’t be done. I was a bit too optimistic. That can be a double-edged sword. On one side, it’s ok to challenge yourself with a task which looks daunting. On the other hand, however, a potential problem exists. Ask yourself for tasks which you cannot complete within one day, and you may end up not taking seriously the tasks for the day. That’s the problem of going below the 80% capabilities of yourself. If you get too much used to mess up, you may being to do that naturally all the time. The problem here comes from two particular work-related tasks. One of them was not really a priority and I delayed it. That’s ok. I probably didn’t need to account for it when counting my MITs, but I want to keep track of what I’m doing. The other task constituted a major problem and I had to delay it to the next day several times. The thing with this task is, I couldn’t know how much time it would take. I could think that I could complete it within the day, but in the end it proved to be not so simple, and I happened to need more time, or more analysis, or just waiting (the nature of my PhD is that the experiments that I perform usually require a waiting time, that may be from 10 minutes up to several days).
So to put it up straightforwardly, some of the MITs that I set weren’t “actions” or tasks, but rather very small projects compounded of several tasks. The time required for these is difficult to measure, and this may disrupt the schedule.  What to do with these guys? I say, try to identify when I have a project in front and when a simple action. Does it mean that I have to make my life more complicated, and for every single project I have to plan and divide into actions previsously? I say NO. Instead, do the freaking stuff. And if you don’t have time and have to shift it, then do shift it to the next day. The goal is finishing your MITs for the day, but if you don’t manage to do it every single day, no one dies (although it may be a good idea to simply imagine that someone will die if you don’t finish them).
So, as I didn’t mess things up terribly (I consider I did quite well, looking at the results above), I’ll go into the next habit! 🙂
See you tomorrow!