[This post originally appeared on its own blog, prior to my merging all Agile Self Development posts into Discardia’s archives.]
OK, so now that you’ve seen the basics of Agile Self Development, how might you use this in real life? I’m going to apply it to the upcoming SXSW conference, and come up with a plan for how I might do better than I otherwise might at the conference. Here goes:
1. State your big, exciting vision: What is it that you want to create, do, or be? Agile Self Development will help you get there, althought the “there” may change along the way.
- My vision is to have a super fun time at SXSW, and to be as alert, engaged, and happy as possible throughout the conference.
2. What are all of the ways you could embark on reaching this vision? This is your chance to brainstorm, and dump out all of the possibilities. (3×5 cards come in handy here, although making a list on paper is also just fine. If you’re around other folks, this is a great time to ask for suggestions.)
- I could: get a decent amount of sleep, eat healthy food, get daily exercise, drink less alcohol, take quiet time out of the day to be by myself, and only stay involved in conversations I am enjoying
3. Which item from the list will yield immediate results, is do-able now, and uses your current skills, abilities, and willpower? Whatever you choose will be what you’re going to work on for the first sprint. You also need to choose a sprint length: a day, a week, every two weeks, or every month.
- I’m going to choose: drink less alcohol. I know that SXSW has copious amounts of free-flowing booze, which will be enticing, but will keep me from being my best. Once I have a few drinks in me, I don’t track interesting conversations as well as I’d like to, and I end up wanting to curl up and go to sleep just as the party gets going. Here is my plan: I’ll drink two club sodas for every alcoholic beverage, so that I get only minimally buzzed, and I’m well hydrated. I’m going to choose a cycle time of one day, so that I can adjust during the conference if I get new information.
4. What are you going to measure to know if you’re making progress (your velocity)? This might be whether or not you actually did something, how many minutes you did it for each day, how you felt at the end of the day, how many people you talked to about something, or how many hours you slept. Find something meaningful to measure. Then make an estimate of how you think things will go.
- The measure of effectiveness is going to be a scale of 1-5 for how fun the night was, and a scale of 1-5 of how I feel the next morning. I’ll assess this in the morning each day when I wake.
5. Now start the sprint! Go! 5.Don’t forget to have fun with the experiment. (Agile Self Development values quality of life over quantity of achievement)
- I’ll report back on how the experiment went at the end of the conference. I’ll be there 5 nights, so I’ll have 5 chances to try this out and modify the experiment for the next sprint if I want to. Stay tuned for the results!