I keep a running log. I\’m not great about it, but I can still give you a fairly approximate average of my monthly mileage, and I can even remember some of the more memorable workouts (like the one on New Year\’s Eve in 2006 when I ran 7 miles in twenty degree weather while my family prepared for a party). Anyway, that running log helps me in multiple ways, and I think you should have one, too. Even if you\’re not a runner, it helps to chart your progress and make note of milestones. What if you used a log at work to keep up with your accomplishments?
Did you finish a big project at work recently? Write it down and try to capture some of the specifics (dollars saved, process time cut, etc.). You might also want to put that on your resume. Next time you need it for a job search, it will be updated and full of your latest accomplishments. On a more short-term basis, it’s a great way to put together your performance review comments to make sure your work is being recognized.
Seeing an ongoing issue in your weekly work life? Make a note of that recurring event. You might not have an answer now, but looking back in a few days/weeks/months might help you see the problem from a different angle and provide some valuable insight.
Some runners can predict injuries/illness before it ever happens. A heavy workout regimen can take its toll in the long run, and work is the same way. If you\’re consistently handling tough tasks and seeing signs of too much stress, then you might want to cut back a bit. Sometimes the best way to make progress is to pull back, reset, and leap back in with renewed energy.
Keeping track of your progress for the long-term should reveal a steady upward trend. There will be ups, downs, and lateral moves, but the overall goal should be to increase your performance level. And five years down the road when you look back and see how far you have come in terms of knowledge, skills, and abilities, you will be pleasantly surprised by the results.