Assess & Adjust

Doesn’t it seem like yesterday that we were looking forward to making summer plans?! Well, now we are half way thru & it seems like the perfect time to start in on another strategy: let’s assess and adjust.

Assess Your Progress This Summer

At this point, it’s important to take a breath & assess your progress. This is not the time to beat yourself up over what hasn’t gotten done. Instead, it’s an opportunity for you to honestly evaluate how effective you’ve been up until this point and determine what can realistically be accomplished before the summer ends. Most importantly, you can look for any patterns of your productivity resistance that may have emerged over the summer. I typically assess myself by reviewing my summer plan and then answering the following questions:

  1. What goals have (and have not) been accomplished so far this summer?
  2. How consistent have I been in my routine?
  3. When, where, and how has my resistance flared up?
  4. Is my current support system effective? And if not, what am I willing to try?
  5. How do I feel about my answers to the previous questions?

If you have been consistent throughout the summer in updating your progress, you will very likely feel that an enormous amount of work HAS been done, even if it’s not quite everything that you imagined earlier in the year. So appreciate all the hard work that you have accomplished and reflect on the moments that your resistance flared up (and what it looked like when it did). This will help you to identify some important patterns. Every piece of insight we gain about our resistance patterns makes it easier for us to manage our “bodyguard” in the upcoming weeks.

What Worked And What Didn’t Work?

Now that you have assessed your current summer productivity, you can begin to analyze it and use it to make decisions about how you will spend the rest of your summer. It’s important to start by identifying what HAS worked well for you. That list will help you to clarify what practices to build into your schedule over the next several weeks. For example, if you are a morning person (or even if you aren’t, like me), then build your schedule around getting things done first thing in the morning. Next, identify what is NOT working. For example, if one of your voluntary support systems has fallen apart, then consider experimenting with a different type of support system (and it may be time to experiment with paying for the support, services, and accountability you need). Whatever your observations may be, it’s all data for your decision-making and planning moving forward.

Make Necessary Adjustments

You’ve assessed and analyzed, so now it’s time to revise the last part of your summer plan! When you’re ready, just follow the same steps you took for creating a summer plan the first time around: 1) list your writing goals, 2) outline the tasks necessary to achieve each of your goals, 3) map the tasks onto each week, 4) commit to executing your plan on a daily basis, and 5) set up whatever support and accountability system will help you move forward day-by-day and week-by-week. Thankfully, planning gets easier every time that you do it!

Reconnect With Your Mentors

Now is a great time to set up meetings with your mentors for the remainder of the year. You can share with them all of your progress and achievements — mentors love to hear good news! I find these meetings can serve as a motivator for finishing up the last of your summer goals so that you can have a strong report of the tangible tasks you’ve completed over the summer. And for whatever items didn’t get accomplished, you can ask your mentors for concrete advice and support. Having structured exchanges with your mentors will not only elicit their valuable wisdom, advice, and feedback, but it also communicates the message that you are a serious, organized, and productive mentee who has clear goals and makes concrete progress towards achieving them.

I hope this week brings a renewed energy that comes from assessing your reality and adjusting to make things better.

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