We’re not static as people. What we need and want changes much more frequently than we might imagine.
If we don't touch base with ourselves on a regular basis, we quickly lose motivation and momentum.
Or run the risk of devoting enormous amounts of time to something (that we'll eventually realise) we don't actually want!
So it's crucial to have a process that allows us to regularly check in with our current needs.
Regular reviews are that process.
Regular reviews are so crucial for keeping all aspects of our creative and business life healthy and productive that doing them forms one of the 8 Essential Habits of Creative Practice: No 7. Reflection and Evaluation.
Reflect and Evalutate: a crucial habit
Whether you're aware of it or not, you're almost certainly already using techniques of Reflection and Evaluation on a daily basis
On some level - and it might be a subconscious one - you reflect on what you observe, and you make an evaluation about which parts of what you’ve seen are potentially the most useful.
So if we already do this automatically, why do we need to make Reflection and Evaluation a habit?
The answer is…to do it more consistently, and with more focus. The more we deliberately reflect on whether the projects we're devoting our valuable time and energy to are still aligned with our values, the more productive and focussed we become.
So this habit is a vital part of staying healthy and making progress as creative individuals and an entrepreneurs.
Reviews pull together disparate information about our work
Think of the process of Reflection and Evaluation as the habit that ties together all the information you gather through your other habits - be that:
How to collect and interpret important information
Let's get an overview of some of the techniques we can use to Reflect and Evaluate in different areas our creative practice and business.
What we're looking for here, are ways to ask ourselves useful questions about what we're doing, and record the answers.
For the commercial side of our creative lives, these might be:
When it comes to analysing our creative work and practice, we also need to do regular reviews of our projects and goals but we might approach this in a slightly different way:
Reviews as a source of content
Regular Reflection and Evaluation has one more really important application.
For those of us who regularly need to talk about the work we do, what we learn in these sessions provides the clues we need to explain to other people WHAT WE DO.
It helps us interpret for the general public our instinctive creative process, and contextualise our work in relation to that of others.
For example, when I hit and overcome Resistance within my own creative work, what I learn invariably gets transformed into a blogpost or a piece of coaching material.
So for me the process of Reflection and Evaluation has the triple benefits of
Not bad for one little habit!
So as you can see, this habit really can be used to assess what's going on in any part of our creative and business lives.
And what we discover in these processes can be used not only to inform our own direction, but also to explain what we do to other people.
Is it time that you implemented a system of regular reviews in your life?