How to Write a Lean Diary

Smartphone, Mess, Diary. This image is CC0!

Have you ever started a diary, keeping up the enthusiasm for some days, and then skipped the habit? Do you have lots of diaries from your past, but never look into them again? In this post I suggest how to start a Lean diary, which is not only regularly written, but also read (by yourself). My first question towards that goal is:

From a Lean perspective the causes of an unsuccesful diary routine are:

  • Writing takes too much time, at least more than you are willing to suggest regularly.
  • Keeping up the habit is more difficult than falling out of it again.
  • The result – a book of handwritten text may not be able to decipher in a few years – is lying around unread most of the time.
  • The root cause might be that you picked up the idea of a diary, but do not know which value it gives to yourself.

If we put these causes into the Lean framework, we get the following:

Here is the solution (an article about one word agile retrospectives gave me the idea):

How does it work:

  1. At the end of each day, write one word into your diary. That would should summarize your day or mark the most important event of that day. If you cannot refrain yourself, let it be up to three words. Do not use sentences.
  2. At the end of each week, perform a retrospective of the week, based on the entries. Define a motto for the following week based on that, again with one word.
  3. At the end of each month, perform a retrospective of the month. Look for continuous improvement ideas that come out this. Also, count how often you wrote your one word diaries and how often you did the weekly retrospective.

How do you like the approach?

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