It’s been almost a year since I started taking a day each week to write out my achievements and take care of any unpleasant tasks. I call this Frog Day. I’m still doing this a year later and it’s still incredibly useful. Here are some of the things I learned from doing this.
- Putting Health as my first set of achievements every time helps to remind me to keep that a priority in my life.
- When I’m sick (and I’ve had major surgery twice in the last year) it helps to remind me that recovery is productive, and to focus on the things that I can do. That said, I do tend to give Frog Day a break when I’m extremely ill so that I can focus on recovery rather than pressure myself to do work.
- Listing out the unpleasant tasks to take care of at the start of the week means nothing gets forgotten, even during a busy week.
- Listing out my achievements helps me appreciate the progress I’ve made. It’s like a pat on the back from myself.
I’ve made one recent change to my habit. I have added “challenges” before the “achievements” section, where I list anything getting in the way of my productivity. This is a way for me to acknowledge anything that’s making progress extra hard that week (usually illness in my case) and to be kind to myself if there are less achievements that week. It also helps to remind me that I need to focus on solving that problem as a priority because it will affect everything else in my life.
For example, one thing I struggle with is insomnia. There are a few medical reasons for this (so don’t give me any sleep advice please) and I have a few ways to cope with it depending on the reason and the severity at the time. But if I don’t get it under control then I get less useful hours in the day to use due to late wakeup times and/or tiredness. So even if other productivity takes a hit for a week or two because I’m focusing on treating my insomnia, it’s worth it because I be back to an overall more productive level sooner.
Here’s a few of the things I accomplished in the last year despite various illnesses and surgery:
- Ran my own consulting business, party of one.
- Ran a startup community meetup.
- Created and sold some original artwork.
- Moved house and bought a cat.
- Nailed my first solo public singing performance.
So I’m calling Frog Day a success and I’m going to keep on doing it.