Improving Practices

A while ago I started looking into PDCA, and noticed they play nicely with the self improvement and deliberate practice research. They’re worth looking into.

I tried formulating a process which took itself into account, and while a formal specification proved beyond the time and focus I could give it at the time, I came away with an intuitive grasp that helped me apply continuous improvement to my efforts to become better all the time.

This means that my improvement in any particular area is bound to accelerate for a while. It’s hard to account for increase in the rate of improvement – is it because of the process or would you normally increase your rate of growth in that particular discipline?. But at least I get a sense of happiness which helps me practice deliberately and get better, so the mood boost is a good boon.

In loose terms, this is what should be going on:

  • When you work on something, notice what you do, and measure whatever performance indicator you can
  • Meditate on how you can improve the performance on the indicators
  • Execute on the improvements, while measuring
  • If you improved on your indicator, keep your change; otherwise discard it.

Now, verify the ways you’re measuring, the ways you’re meditating – in short, think about how you’re checking your progress.

In diverse areas, I’ve come up with different ways to improve my process; from a Nick Winter inspired automation of certain measurements through my text editor to discussing the changes with someone instead of just meditating on my own, I feel more thrilled to work, and work on my work.

This way, I don’t only improve through practice, but I improve practice itself.

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