Tweak It by Cali Yost is a system to get in the driver’s seat of your work+life fit (as opposed to balance). Do you feel tired, rundown and listless because you work at work, and you work at home, and then it’s Friday and you can’t remember what you accomplished? Or you didn’t accomplish what you intended? Tweak It might be for you.
The system involves scheduling regular and unique actions and priorities into your life to ensure that you’re achieving your goals. You aim for 70% success on these tasks (because perfect is the enemy of good). I like 70%. One of the most cliche fears is fear of failure, which can lead us to avoid trying things all together. As is realistic, Tweak It expects some failure. Planning failure makes it hard to justify not trying.
To start, create an overview or Tweak It snapshot of your personal and professional tasks and priorities.* It’s important to view both spheres. What does your snapshot reveal? What do you spend the most time on? How different is your snapshot from your Most Awesome Life? (see How to Plan Your Best. Year. Yet) How do you feel at the end of the week? Are you moving towards your goals and priorities? It’s useful to review your year plan to keep the big stuff in mind. Big things typically happen because of a succession of small things. Small things typically happen when you plan them.
Then devise regular tweaks that you will maintain every week, such as exercise, connecting with loved ones, or going to bed by a certain time. In addition to these standard tweaks, Tweak It involves scheduling unique tweaks – things you want to get done this week. The last part of the system is to review and
tweak revise for subsequent weeks.
My new project (stay tuned!) involves many sequential small things. By scheduling them into my week it’s more likely that I’ll complete them, rather than putting them on an endless to-do list titled “soon.”
*I did not create a snapshot. Unique tweaks seem most useful to me, so I’m starting there.
Create a Tweak It snapshot
- Pick a calendar and priority list system: iCloud Calendar and Laura Vanderkam’s 168 Hours.
- Define success: taking concrete steps every week to move my new project forward. One day per week off the computer. Networking and doing activities outside of my house. Art.
Choose standard tweaks:
Pick Tweaks of the Week
- Select unique tweaks for the week: Monday – post blog, talk to accountant; Tuesday – write listserv draft; Wednesday – no computer; Thursday, brainstorm names, read book, blog draft; Friday – research.
Schedule your tweaks and work with people to make them happen:n/a
Review and Revise
Review and reviseI’ll start this next week.
Though repetitive, Tweak It features diverse examples of people tweaking it and tips for how to tweak your career, physical and emotional wellbeing, finances, and more. One Renew Tweak I love is “When you wake up in the morning, be aware of your breath…. take a couple of deep breaths – not just shallow breaths into your chest, but into your diaphragm. That immediately wakes you up, but it also keeps you in a state of calm” (166).
Have you read Tweak It? What are your unique tweaks this week? Have you tried deep breathing when you wake up?