Gris and I, just like the rest of us, get stupid busy sometimes. We have been needing to plan and do a lot, getting married and all.
"What's this got to deal with me?" You may ask. Great question.
Recently we have been talking over what we want to get done in a day. We both have work and come home to work some more. So, we have to decide what is important for that day and what can wait.
In comes the MVD. The Minimum Viable Day.
Now, this isn't an original idea. I first learned about it from an author named Rebecca Pendleton on Medium.
I kind of noticed me using these concepts at work when shipping a minimum viable product, a product with a minimum feature set to be usable and deliver some value to the customer.
This is also similar to the highlight system we made a video on the burner method linked here.
However, this is more of an everyday system. What we are talking about in this post is an “oh god, I wish I didn’t have to work today” kind of day.
We all start to face some bad days, where we are feeling all kinds of pressure, overwork, neglecting self care, and self doubt. Those days, we just have to get through the day. That is all.
Rebecca Outlines some rules to follow. Yay, rules for a bad day!
Have a clear purpose
Understand the purpose of having a minimum viable day, and keep this in mind at all times.
Delivers some value: Achieve some small things that count as a win. Gain some rest time.
Lean: do the absolute minimum. Prioritize!
Shipped: Do the day and get through it. Don't give up.
Insightful: Use it as a learning exercise. Be curious, even if you don't feel like doing much else. (We are all about learning here).
She makes it very clear that this does not replace proper time off and rest! This is just for a bit of a top off to get through the week.
If you are feeling a bad, health is taking a turn for the worse, or you're pushing yourself too hard, just stop. Get some rest!
You have to be ruthless here. I do this by the burner method we shared earlier.
I have a top list of what is the highlight or important thing for me to do. It can be sending emails, working out, whatever it needs to be.
The back burner and cutting board are now nice to haves if we have time or get the highlight done.
They can also be won't do items.
Postpone anything that can be done tomorrow
- What can I do tomorrow/next week, when I gave regained my energy?
- Who do I need to be honest with about how I’m feeling today so they can help me move a few things off my plate?
- Who could stand in for me?
- What can be binned off altogether that I shouldn’t have been doing anyway? (This one’s a goodie.)
Measure performance based on your original objectives
- Did I do the day?
- Did I not kill anyone?
- Do I feel okay?
- Can I do tomorrow? (That is, did the product — you — not fully break and fall over so that we can iterate tomorrow?)
Ponder, reflect, be curious.
The goal here is to be curious and reflect. Why are we feeling this way?
- Maybe use some of the day to be reflective about why you’re feeling run down and how you can avoid anxiety days in the future.
- Maybe reflect on what’s going well and what you might want to achieve the rest of the week if you feel up to it.
- Maybe reflect on what you want to achieve longer term and which priorities you want to adhere to
- You will be rested.
- You will not burn out (and this is very important).
- You will get some great ideas.
- You are practicing self-care.
- You are seeing yourself as a living, breathing human being, not a machine
Remember, we aren't machines. In fact, the more worn out we are, the worse our decisions will be. We will make more mistakes and do things that will cost us later.
Again, this is for those bad days that you are needing to get through. Otherwise, if you are rested and inspired, then go kill it and keep this in your back pocket for a bad day.