OKR-a-rama Q3 2019

— 5 minute read

One reason for me restarting a blog is so that I'd had some form of accountability for the goals I'm setting myself, so where better to start than with this quarter's OKRs?

If you're not familiar with them, 'OKR' stands for Objectives and Key Results, and they're basically an aspirational way of keeping yourself accountable. I got introduced to them by the excellent John Sandall (who is probably facepalming at my butchering of them here). The 'Objective' is where you want to be, and you give each one a few 'Key Results' that are basically what it would look like to get there. The idea is you set KRs you think you can hit at about 70% success, giving you both a stretch-goaly aspirational buzz but also kinda permission for imperfection as well. They're most used in organisations and teams, but I've been keeping personal ones for 3 quarters now, with varying (the tactful way of putting 'kinda embarrassing') levels of success. So I decided to shake it up a little bit for my 4th set.

How I'm tackling things this time permalink

I'm an avid bullet journal user, but I found that when times got rough this last quarter I just wasn't keeping up with the tracking I wanted to be doing in my Bujo for my OKRs to motivate me. I also wasn't really beholden to anyone but me on actually doing the things. And the parts to do with getting back on track with my personal web presence wound up spectacularly neglected.

So I decided to add some more tools into the mix. First up was finding a time tracker I could use nice and easily, and settled on TimeTag as it's simple, not jammed full of helpful freelance stuff that would be overkill for my purposes, but lets me group stuff by category so I can be a bit more granular about things if I like.

Next was, well, this thing.

Putting my goals up online makes me accountable to… all of you, I guess. It just raises the stakes a little bit. It also kickstarts a couple of my goals for this quarter by forcing me to get this thing up. So I lobbed a copy of Andy Bell's lovely 11ty starter Hylia up on Netlify, spent a couple of hours giving it a much more obnoxious colour scheme, and made this post so that I basically had no excuses. The plan is to do an update of how stuff is going each week, with the choice to use Hylia being in part because it has Netlify CMS built in out of the box, so I can theoretically add to this even when I'm not at my laptop. The other reason for using Hylia was because aside from the inevitable faffing about with the colours it meant I could have something usable up online in less time than it takes to make a brew.

What are your actual OKRs though? permalink

I did 4 objectives this time, which are honestly more fluffy than they're probably meant to be, but fight me. We'll see if they've worked in 3 months, right?

Objective 1: Keep watering the damn flowers permalink

  • KR1: 1hr studying/upskilling at least once a week
  • KR2: 3x exercise sessions per week
  • KR3: Basic house reset & inbox zero every week

Objective 2: Actually do some stuff for yourself permalink

  • KR1: Spend 1hr every week on personal projects
  • KR2: Make some kind of blog post three times a month
  • KR3: Complete 2 small things not related to actual work each month

Objective 3: Get back on the wagon with music permalink

  • KR1: 60 mins guitar & 60 mins other instrumental practice per week
  • KR2: Finish a track every month
  • KR3: Learn a new folk tune, a new guitar chord sequence and a new unaccompanied song each month

Objective 4: Take ownership of your work permalink

  • KR1: Use a webdev or design technique you’ve never used before every week
  • KR2: Finish refreshing site and business cards, and keep the site up to date
  • KR3: 20 freelance pomodoros per week

OK, so... permalink

As well as these I have a small list of tiny little tasks and self care things, 15 to be exact, with the intent to knock off one each week in any order (15 rather than 13, to give me a bit of choice even in the last couple of weeks of the quarter). Last quarter I split it into 2 lists, 15 selfcare/habitat things and 15 personal development things, but overwhelm meant a fraction of them got done in comparison to the previous time where I'd just had the 15. So it's back to one list there.

It occurs to me that I probably shouldn't count weekly checkin posts here in my 'do 3 blog posts a month' goal, but this one definitely counts.

Good luck with your own goals if you're keeping them!

♥ KT