Last week, we (my day job) had two events in New York. Let’s just say the first event on Tuesday left quite a bit of room for improvement for the second event on Thursday. It was apparent things didn’t work during the first event and before a very similar event later that week we had to make some adjustments. My team sat down to reassess, identify areas for improvement, determine how to implement the changes, and then updated our event strategy within 24 hours. The result was a wildly successful event that came together through strong collaborative efforts.
Program evaluation and assessment isn’t a novel idea. In fact, I imagine most of us do it with some regularity at work. Standard post event procedure in my office includes a debrief, and professionally I am comfortable knowing something didn’t go well so long as we work towards a solution to fix it for the future. This idea of evaluating performance and making adjustments if needed isn’t daunting. I want to make sure I am performing efficiently and successfully, and if that means making some changes then so be it. Even when I may not know what the solution to the problem is, I’m not hesitant to begin testing solutions.
So, why the challenge when I look inward to do the same evaluation?
I have a lot on my plate right now (don't we all though) and I'm living in a bit of a "just need to get it all done" fog. The result is a feeling I don't love. Too often, I wake up wondering where the heck the day/week/weekend/month went which is, again, a feeling I don't love. Something is obviously not working but I haven't made the time to figure out that something is.
It may be easier said than done, but we should all be showing ourselves the same care and respect we show our professional work by evaluating what is working, abandoning what is not, and doubling down on what is. I myself am trying to be better at identifying when something isn’t working so I can ditch it with the same assurance I do professionally. We all know this, but I’ll say it too: prioritize your self-care. You’re the only one that can. We're all works in progress. :)