Productivity apps are popular because people are frustrated at never making progress.— Sean Blake⚡ (@seanblake26) January 2, 2021
To make progress, you have to know where you want to go.
Inspect your goals before your output.
You can use these categories to organise your life and your work.
It seems simple, but it’s so important to be honest with ourselves and our team about what we’re actually working on.
The fastest way to wreck a team is for people to start hiding.
Make your work public.
Share it wide.
Keep the status fresh and moving towards done.
A home run is an incredible way to win the game. You risk it all on one big swing, hoping that night will be the night you single-handedly make the difference.
However most teams in the MLB this season average less than 1 home run per game. Usually, games are won by singles or doubles, accumulated over an inning – not a magical moment of individual brilliance.
So it is with our work or any pursuit we are trying to excel in. Undoubtedly, we dream of a home run each time we wake up in the morning, hoping that today will be the day the crowd finally witnesses our hidden talent.
Though instead of aiming to hit it out of the park each time, we should try to simply hit the ball first. Then, hit singles. Hit singles as consistently and reliably as anyone. Turn up, deliver what was promised, contribute, improve, share. Hit singles every time.
Eventually, you might even hit a home run. Yet until you are known as the person who is reliable, the one-off remarkable success will only be viewed as a fluke.
True success comes from mastering the basics, over and over again. This is a skill as rare as smashing it into the crowd.
Image: Werner Kunz
The worst place to be is stagnant, afraid to make the next move. After failure, the next best thing to do is try again.
If we find ourselves second-guessing or holding back, we’ve already lost.
Success only comes to people when they try something over and over again, a slightly different attempt each time.
We learn. We build muscle memory. Change velocity. Wins are subconsciously enforced as good behaviour. Over time, we discover the right method or approach.
There’s no such thing as an overnight success, simply someone who has tried a thousand times.
Not delivering is the worst thing you can do. It gives me a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach.
Sometimes we stall and delay because we’re afraid of showing people our work or being judged on the quality.
But the results are secondary, really. And the benefit of hindsight means we can improve, optimise and learn for next time.
If Amazon delayed delivering a book you ordered because they thought you might just return it, or write a bad review, you’d be mad.
So, let’s keep our commitments. Even if it’s the worst thing you’ve ever done, ship it. Press send. Turn up. Apply.
Then learn from it. Doing nothing is worse than doing something badly.
We usually get stuck when charging ahead, blasting through the steps, until, suddenly, we can’t go any further.
Running full speed our heads down blocks the vision of the end goal. Sometimes we end up off track, with a product nobody asked for or wants.
Another way: do it backwards. Keep in mind the end goal – from the start.
If things go perfectly, what will we end up with? Answer that, and you’ll find it much harder to get lost.
To get the latest news online we press the refresh button. As the screen momentarily turns blank our brain has the opportunity to breath.
We reassess the need for the latest information and possibly choose a new destination based on deeper passions and desires.
“Our frantic days are really just a hedge against emptiness.” – Tim Kreider
What about the other areas of our life?
At work and in life we have a choice. We can see our colleagues, our family or strangers as threats to be avoided. They could hurt us, steal from us or take our jobs.
Or, we can choose trust. To build partnerships. To share our work and to grow together.
It only takes one painful experience to make us recoil, but the opportunities that positivity brings is endless.
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“I work long hours.”
“I’m so busy, you know how it is.”
It can mean 2 things.
They’re a hard worker. Their proud of their work and they need to put in extra time to achieve the quality they set for themselves.
They’re inefficient and easily distracted by various inboxes and impulse tasks. In an attempt to hide it, they work longer, hoping that by doing more people won’t notice they’re achieving less.
Too often I’m the latter. Which one are you?
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A good manager gets the job done. They can prioritise, improve the way we do things and even be creative. You can work for them because you both want the same thing.
A good leader will make you think twice. They’ll dream big and share their ideas that will change everything. Their goal is not to be efficient, it’s to imagine a world that’s completely transformed. And to make it happen. You can work with them because they inspire you to imitate their dreams.