Are We Done Yet?
A key piece of Scrum and Agile is agreeing what it means for a Task, Story, or Epic to be considered “done.” While we'll never be “done" since these are meant to be consistent behaviors, we do need to continue to move the needle forward and focus our practice on the next skill, habit, or behavior.
So, "done" doesn’t mean “stop,” it means “continue," it means to keep going, it means pass Go and collect your $200. It means we’re making progress.
We need to know when it makes sense for us to move on to the next thing. How will we know when it’s time to move on to the next skill, habit, or behavior?
There are a few ways to go about this.
First, you could simply time box it. This is one of the primary approaches we use when leveraging Precision Nutrition’s curriculum. We get as much practice in on a particular habit in two weeks and then it’s time to move on to the next one. Remember, we’re not stopping the prior habit, we’re just putting our focus and attention on the new one.
Second, you could use something like this as a template:
You’re “done” when you no longer have to consciously think about doing the skill, habit, or behavior the majority of the time.
We’re after consistency in everything that we do. When you’re first starting out, it’s going to take focus, effort, and energy to learn how to do something new otherwise your current automatic behaviors will naturally take over. But, we need to acknowledge that we can’t account for every single situation where you may want to use that SHB. Otherwise, we’ll never move on to anything else. That’s why, if we can do something without thinking the majority of the time, we’re focusing on proficiency and not perfection.
Note that for this approach you may find yourself on a particular habit a bit longer. If after 3-4 weeks you haven’t started working on your next SHB from your backlog, consider doing so.
Third, create a consistency metric that you include in your metric tracking and check-ins.
For example, if Eating Slowly is the focus, after two weeks what will the goal be? At least one meal a day? At least one meal every other day? Every meal?
Or if you’re food journalling, do you want to track four out of seven days per week?
If you’re on a fitness SHB, maybe you’re cool with getting to 2 days a week of resistance-focused training, and while you’re focusing on other things, you’ll continue to work toward that third day.
Each approach has its merits, and each approach is centered around helping you progress in a systematic, structured way. As always, pick the one that seems to resonate the most with you and try it. Like everything else, if it’s not working then let’s adjust or try something completely different.