Working out loud works best when your work is open to the contribution of others.
A short daily report, like “Long day. Too many meetings”, is a common starting point for many people’s practice of working out loud. Sharing this invites some sympathy and may draw some questions about what went wrong. However your network is left to do the work to interpret, connect and help. The fact that the day is done means opportunities to improve have been missed.
We encourage people to work out loud on unfinished work. Work that is still ongoing encourages others to help you finish. Advice & other assistance can have an immediate impact.
Bryce Williams mentioned the value of a narration in his definition of working out loud. Narration also makes it easier for others to help by supplying context. I’ve seen people respond to a report like the one above offering meeting productivity tips only to be told ‘I do that. Just a peak day on the project’. A better narration gives better context and lets others know what challenges you face without asking. Guide people to offer the help you need. If all you need is sympathy and connection, then help others understand.
Challenges you face are likely challenges for others. (We all struggle with bad meetings). Even if others can’t help they might learn from the answers you get. While sharing a short report on the day feels safer, it is much less valuable than offering a chance to contribute.
Make the way other can help and learn from you explicit in your working out loud. It is a small contribution you can make to your network and will bring about a step change in your experience. Work out loud to be open to the contributions of others.