I love this idea, because it pushes us out of the moment into the long term, which makes it easier to be rational.
There’s the risk in the short term decision, when we don’t have time to think about what we’re really optimizing for, and in this case I always think about this guy I worked with at Google who told me, “I rage quit Facebook, but this is worse”. Then there’s the risk of the long term decision, of staying put too long when we’re not learning. Here, I think of the many, many people I’ve interviewed who have the same year of experience multiple times, in a way that makes it much harder for them to get the kind of role they think they “should” have by now.
The structured, regular check in with ourselves is key to:
- Identifying what needs to change.
- Tracking progress over time.
- Distinguishing between transient issues (e.g. workload around a launch date) and structural issues (an organization where learning more coping mechanisms has more impact than learning skills).
I think this can also be a helpful tool for helping people we care about come to the realization we’ve already had for them – that they are stagnating/unhappy/something and nothing is going to change where they are.