Hack #12
15-minute Review of the Day

My True Story

In my late 20s I felt miserable a lot of the days.

Why?

Because I was crazy busy and I still felt that I was going nowhere.

The only rays of sunshine were during some fortunate encounters when I would meet a long missed friend that would tell me:

“Hey, I’ve been following your work. It’s quite impressive, I like the man you’ve turned out to be since our time at Company X”…

I would raise my eyebrows, smile and say: “Really?” and they would invariably reply: “Yes, really.”

It’s quite interesting that because of my inside turmoil, I was completely unaware of my progress or the results that I was creating.

Sure, I was aware of the most important results at year’s end when I would have a big round-up, but still, this would not compensate for all those days when I felt busy for the sake of being busy.

All these grey “no joy” days came to a screeching halt one morning when my eyes read the following sentence:

“You should not start a new day until you have finished the previous one.”

This phrase hit me like a ton of bricks. I realised that my life was a never-ending continuum without beginning and without end that was going in an uncertain direction.

I immediately started exploring what it would mean to “end” the day in a proper manner and I found out that asking the right questions was the answer.

Since then, I end each day with a set of 5 questions that allow me to capitalise on the most important things of that day and also sets the foundation for a highly productive following day. When I skip this step from my evening routine, which is rare, I feel lost for a couple of hours the next morning.

What is this Extreme Hack?

It’s a fast and easy way to learn from your mistakes during the day and to build on your successes.

Who is this Extreme Hack for?

It’s for anyone who wants to grow fast and to experience the least amount of pain and failures in the process.

5 Problems this Extreme Hack Solved for Me

  • Uncertain if I had a good day or just a mediocre one
  • Taking home unfinished business
  • Repeated mistakes
  • Forgetting best practices – went well once and then forgot about it and did it differently but less effective
  • The sensation of a perpetual struggle without a beginning or an end

The Science Behind this Hack

It’s never about perfection. It’s not about never going off-track. You are human, and you will make mistakes. The only real question is: how many mistakes will you make, and how fast will you learn from them?

Having this in mind, it’s easy to get sidetracked by a lot of stimuli and stay off-track for a longer period of time than is required. You will – for sure – get thrown off the horse, the only question is “How fast will you get back in the saddle?” Minimize this time and you will be among the winners.

The Review of the Day has a great purpose, and that is to re-focus your attention in the direction of your goals and objectives. It’s less about how many times you’ll go off-track and is more about how fast can you get back on-track.

Zig Ziglar was right: “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, but capitalize on what comes!”

How it Works:

It’s nothing complicated, you just need a journal, a pen and a quarter of an hour of personal time.

After many years of testing, I’ve come up with these 5 questions that perfectly sum up every day:

  • What went right today? Find at least 5 things.
  • What went wrong today?
  • What did I learn today?
  • What will I do differently tomorrow in a similar circumstance?
  • What am I grateful for? Find at least 5 things.

The Wrong Way:

  • Do the review in your head
  • This is a highly deceptive mind trick. Do it in writing because you will be more thorough and you’ll reap greater rewards. In you mind, you can have multiple thoughts at once and the process will be superficial. In contrast, your hand can write about only one thought at a time. Be smart and discipline your mind.
  • Answer only a few of the questions
  • If you only do what is convenient or easy, you will grow very slowly. Do not negotiate with yourself against yourself. Complete this process 100% because it is designed to close the open loops and capitalize on all the relevant events from the day.
  • Blame yourself for the failures
  • This is not the purpose of the review. Accept 100% responsibility for what happened but use this experience not as a roadblock, but as a stepping stone. At the end of the day, you will have another perspective, you will be better than before and you will be more prepared to do it right next time.

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