Automatic Sandwich

It’s my end-of-the-week Feedback Sandwich*. It’s like a pat on the back, wrapped around a wish. Totally magic. Please, join in and make yourself a sandwich in the comments!

Building In R&R Time

In my last Sandwich I wanted to incorporate more rest and recovery time into my days. I have been doing that. The calendar system I’ve been developing is perfect for it. I can see my week clearly, and schedule in movement, meditation, reading and just doing nothing time.

I’m still sort of amazed that my body doesn’t really accept relaxation time, and really, ahem, relax into it, unless it is planned. Even if just planned moments before. I’ve even been able to do some actual napping, instead of just faking it.

First Piece of Bread: Specific Good Stuff

While in St. Louis for a workshop I co-taught with my friend and collaborator Janine Adams, I was whining about how I’d like to post more to my blog, and how I was in awe of her posting regularity. The conversation progress and she agreed to join me in a one-month  blogging challenge.

I’m thrilled to say that I’ve only missed one day of blogging in nearly two weeks, and that was because some evil jerk hacked my sites and they were down for over 10 hours. (I sure hope you didn’t try to visit that day, this normally pleasant to look at page was replaced with a horrible picture. I apologize if you saw it. Fingers crossed it won’t happen again.)

The image above is from Don’t Break the Chain. I’m using it to track my blogging progress. It’s a terrific tool to help you start or maintain a new habit. While it doesn’t seem that powerful at the start, in fact it’s really a very simple idea, once you get your chain start, it becomes surprisingly motivating! I have my blogging chain set for weekdays only, so I don’t break the chain when I’m not blogging on the weekends.

Meat in the Middle: The Stretch

While I’m not just feeling more comfortable with daily habits and routines, I’m actually embracing them, I really feel like my routines could be well, more routine and habitual. You know, automatic. I often give myself lots of leeway on when I do things, which provides a certain amount of spaciousness, until you bump up against the end of the day.

That’s what’s been happening with my posts.

Even if I have a great idea for a post right after waking, I will often wait until later in the day to start writing it. While I’ve gotten it done, I think that spaciousness I think I’m creating is an illusion, and a more expansive sense of spaciousness will come from sticking to a structure, and taking advantage of making my routines automatic.

Final Piece of Bread: What I want to take into the coming week

I have so much more awareness as I’m moving throughout my days. I feel like I’m more productive and enjoying all parts of my work more. I’m also getting a much better idea of how long things really take. Some much longer than expected, others are way faster.

Keeping up with my systems of marking time with awareness and planning for work, play and rest throughout the week are at the top of my list.

* * *

*What’s this about a Sandwich?

Well, yes, I am hungry, but that’s not the kind of sandwich I’m talking about.
This time I’m talking about giving myself a Feedback Sandwich at the end of each week. Or major project. Or milestone. Or, well, you get the idea.
I first learned about this concept in my NLP Trainer’s Training. We were learning to train NLP practitioners, which included learning to give useful feedback. The basic format of the Feedback Sandwich is:
  • Bread = Compliment, what the person did well, be specific!
  • Meat = Suggestion for improvement
  • Bread = Compliment, this time an overall positive assessment to take into the future.
This Sandwich comes with a warning.
For starters, it’s not necessary to create a Dagwoodian monolith of a feedback sandwich for it to be useful. It’s okay to keep it simple with a small, elegant tea sandwich. Also, I encourage carbo-loading in this case. More bread than fillings!
Another danger of the feedback sandwich is that you start getting programmed to know that criticism follows that first compliment. If I notice that I start to cringe whenever I try to give myself a compliment, I’ll probably look at another way of reviewing my week. Until then, I think with heartfelt review I’ll be just fine.
(If you’re in a position where you need to give feedback to others on a regular basis, you might want to skip the full carbo-lover’s sandwich and try this open-faced revised feedback method instead.)

What’s your feedback sandwich look like for the week?

Please share yours in the comments below, or on the Perception Studios Facebook page.


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