Reviewing results – 3 reasons why it sucks
Nobody likes reviewing their work. Well, almost no one.
When I’m speaking to groups, I often come right out and ask if they review their results. A lot of people put their hands up because they do periodic reviews.
The majority of those people might spend time mulling over the past week at work in their mind, but virtually no one schedules a formal time to sit down and really assess what’s happening. Even fewer review both their personal and professional lives.
Some people do reviews at work all the time, because it’s part of their job description, but then they forget about the review process when it comes to their personal goals.
It’s too bad, because reviewing results is a crucial step in refining good ideas, and eliminating bad ones. If you want to have sustainable long-term success, some type of review system is a must.
I find that there are 3 common excuses for not reviewing results:
- It’s scary to hear negatives about your work.
- When things are going well, you get lulled into believing that you’ve made it, and don’t need objective feedback.
- You don’t have time for a review.
Do any of them sound familiar to you?
You’d probably never admit to the fact that even hearing or thinking negative thoughts about the work you do can be scary, but it really is. Luckily, if you have a good strategy for reviewing what you do, your sessions can be constructive, reflective, and efficient.
Small and Slow for Success
My goal isn’t to get you to review every single detail of you life starting today. That’s not a realistic expectation. If you don’t currently review anything and try to go from 0 to 100% all at once, the habit will never stick.
What I highly recommend doing is scheduling a review session somewhere where it’s unlikely to get bumped. Then, follow through and take the time to thoroughly review the results you’re getting. All it takes is 15-30 minutes, once a week.
Take time for both your business and personal goals. You can even review them at the same time.
Caution: It's easier to cancel an appointment with yourself than with someone else, so hold yourself accountable. You don’t miss appointments with other people, so don’t miss this one.
7 ways to make your review more effective
Do it weekly – From my experience, a weekly review is the easiest to stick to. A daily review can bog people down, and a monthly review has too much of a gap, which makes it easier to walk away from.
Be honest – Ask yourself, “What worked, and what didn’t work?” If you can get outside feedback, you’ll have a better idea of what’s happening.
Be gentle – Too much criticism can stifle creativity. Make it OK to be you, and to give yourself an honest evaluation of what you’ve accomplished. Here’s a tip. If you’re currently using the phrase, constructive criticism, stop it. The word criticism is too negative. I love the word “Feedback.” It’s not positive or negative. The goal of feedback is to say exactly what’s happening. Then you take that info and use it to improve. It’s not good or bad. It’s just what’s happening.
Look forward – It’s hard to go forward in life if you’re constantly looking in the rear view mirror. Keep looking into the distance so you always know where you’re going.
Be excited about mistakes – The way to get good at something fast is to push the envelope a bit. With increased risk taking, comes increased failure. A new failure is a good failure. When you try something new, and it doesn’t work out, that’s where learning takes place. It’s repeating the exact same mistake over and over that can hurt you.
Keep a record – You can look back to see how far you’ve come. You can also go back and see what you told yourself, so you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. The third benefit is that writing things down, has the effect of making it seem more permanent.
Incorporate the ideas into your future work – Success is all about using good strategies. You can’t make more time in the day, but you can use the time you have more effectively.
The more you do it, the better, you’ll get
Once you go through this process a few times, you’ll be able to do it within a few minutes some weeks. Other times, when you’re facing major challenges, it will take longer.
If your goal is to be more successful, reviewing the work you’ve done is one of the fastest ways to make you successful. So please, don’t ignore it any longer. Give it a shot!
Greg Gazin says
Excellent post. Sometimes people don’t want to look back. They find it easier to move forward with a clean slate. The problem is that they are carrying excess baggage with them.
If they take the time to review, like you had indicated, then they can tweak whats there, remove what they don’t want and in essence lighten their load going forward.
Kevin Achtzener says
Thanks for the comment Greg.