November 19, 2022

Sleeping in while the treat lady checks her email…

Q: Do I need to spend more time searching for better information or do I need to spend more time acting on the information I already have? Is the bottleneck strategy or execution?

Thanks, James Clear. I’m so glad you asked.

I have been gathering information and hatching plans, but the bottleneck is execution.

I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in self-doubt. If you know me, or you’ve read any of my posts before this one, this is not news. In recent months I’ve been stretching my comfort zone, and it’s been a bit of a workout. The way things are lining up lately, I feel as if I’ve reached a bit of a plateau, and I wonder how much I am really learning from my experiences. When I get overwhelmed and stressed out, I still fall back on familiar thoughts and habits that do not serve me. That I KNOW do not serve me. That I HAVE PROVEN do not serve me through successful attempts at NEW STUFF that I have navigated. And yet… I spent the last few days all up in my head, second-guessing myself and feeling paralyzed. And let me just say, it’s been exhausting.

I am so grateful for the people I have close to me who have listened and offered feedback. You have helped me to see myself in the way I want to be seen, and I appreciate it more than you know.

An interesting and timely article that was recently shared with me talks about the “Plan-Do-Study-Act Loop” : https://commoncog.com/no-learning-dont-close-loops/

“The underlying assumption is that the work you’ve spent executing on… each [project] counts for something: those months of work are wasted if you don’t take some time, at the end, to study the results.

… It is wasteful to execute a couple of half-assed loops: you’ve burnt all that time, and all of those resources, and for what? For nothing. You don’t learn anything, you don’t let it inform future execution loops, you just do the thing half-assed and then go after the next ‘good idea’. What do you accomplish? Possibly some things. But what do you learn? Very little.”

I have spent years creating half-assed loops. Jobs, relationships, fitness plans, business plans… all the planning, doing, studying, but not so much with the reflecting on the results and acting on what I’ve learned. If what I’ve learned doesn’t seem to jive with the story I am already telling myself, I am reluctant to act on it. I have been afraid to push against my (and others’) preconceptions and expectations. This has meant I’ve tried to function in an increasingly narrower lane of “acceptable” behavior… with predictably unsatisfactory results. I can see this pattern, and I accept it without beating myself up over it (in the spirit of, “when we know better, we do better.”)

I like to think I am starting to close some loops. Now, for the learning…

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