Working Out Loud Circle – Week Eight

This is part of a series of posts documenting my journey with a Working Out Loud circle, as defined in John Stepper’s book; Working Out Loud: For a better Career and Life.  You can read the rest of the series here.

Our circle was back to full strength this week – a square at least, assembled on Friday to invigorate us ahead of the weekend.

So what did we do this week?

To me, week eight feels like a long way into any journey. An eight-week ‘project’ should be someway toward significant progress by now, and the question in the weekly check-in seemed appropriate; ‘What has been the best thing for you so far?’

It was great hearing the different lenses that my circle friends had for their answer. Mine focused on the ‘Mut Anfall’ idea that has become the unofficial name for our circle, courage attack – and the idea that each week I work through the exercises I get a little bit more courageous in my approach.

Coincidentally, this morning (Monday) I was listening to a comedy podcast on my journey to work and Aisling Bea (Irish comedian and actor) said:

“We don’t live as much as we should, because of awkwardness” – Aisling Bea

This resonated with me, much of Working Out Loud is about finding tactics to make connections and interactions a little less awkward.

We talked about building habits, the focus of Week 8 and how people build habits into their everyday life.  I found this week an easy reach, I practice building habits into everyday life in a quite deliberate way:

  1. Define the goal I want to achieve (e.g. Blog post every day or Thirty minutes exercise every day)
  2. Write out a calendar showing the month
  3. Tick each day off – or write in the achievement

This way, the month becomes a game, fill all the gaps and you’ve achieved your goal.  It doesn’t work forever, but the best attempts yield the best results for me.

I shared my checklist approach with my group, and how successful it is sometimes.

Checklist ManifestoI also shared a recommendation to one of my favourite books – The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande  – which explains how introducing a culture of checklists helped break down complex tasks into a simple set of instructions to be ‘ticked off’, I found it a powerful indictment of an approach that I follow.

The final exercise of the week was to talk about introductions, we whizzed through this one as the general consensus was that the group was already very good at making introductions with context and empathy – what a great circle we are!

My key takeaways

  • Checklists – still as simple, still as powerful!
  • Building a game around the WOL concepts I am trying to cultivate is a motivation way of getting it done.

What did I do after this weeks meeting?

  • Started working on breaking down a few of the things I want to do to further my WOL learnings into a set of actions I can build a new checklist for. It works for me, so I’ll carry on!

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