It’s pretty simple. Most people put in about as much work as the people they are keeping pace with. I don’t mean rivals. I mean the human pace-cars that circle the same track we’re driving. It’s not important what track that is either. For the purposes of this article, it’s whatever you’re doing right now.
The thing is, if we all work as hard as each other, we all end up the in the same place. So here are ten ways to kick the shit out of your goals.
1. Show up every day in the right mindset. People talk a lot about mindfulness. They talk about it like it’s a new age panacea for all your first-world problems. Here’s what it really means. “Do the work that’s in front of you right now.” Even if that work is forecasting for the future. I know that sounds like an oxymoron. But it isn’t. The work you need to do is the stuff everyone else avoids. So do it.
2. Forget about perfection. Perfect is a lie we tell ourselves. Nothing is perfect. Perfect is a construct of excellence over time. Time shifts your perceptions with every passing second. So perfection is always a transitory, subjective idea.
Instead of focusing on ‘getting it perfect’, focus on getting it done. Done opens the door for more work. More challenge. Done is a status, not a judgement.
3. Get to Carnegie Hall. Sure, it’s an old joke. But the punchline is still valid. You have to practice. You aren’t ever going to be good at something you just picked up. And you aren’t going to magically get better. You need to invest in deliberate practice to improve. To explore your own inadequacies. And overcome them.
4. Ditch the mantras and give yourself reminders. A mantra is something you tell yourself because you hope it will become true. It’s effectiveness is in hope, the idea that you’ll maybe be better one day. Instead, make a list of great moments in your life. Think about how you got to that moment. Look at those behaviours and embrace them. Don’t try and trick yourself — remind yourself.
5. Improve with consistency. You never know when your efforts are going to pay off. But you can keep up your end of the bargain until the Universe throws you a bone. The more consistently you perform, the easier it is to get noticed. To get paid. To recognise your limits so you can eventually go beyond them. This goes hand in hand with practice. Consistent work isn’t ‘the bare minimum’ either. It’s how you build other people’s expectations of you.
6. Set your own metrics. Success is yours to define. It’s stupidly easy to get caught up in what other people think good looks like. Unless they have power over you, you can sidestep those expectations easily. Write your plan and stick at it. It’s okay if other people don’t understand what you’re doing. They’re not you.
7. Spend less time on social media. Seriously. It’s only good at distracting you by throwing other people’s normal in your face. Don’t sit in front of a phone or a computer and dream. Sit in a dark room and dare.
8. If you like it, do it again. If you don’t like it, do it again. You have the power.
9. Match activity to effect. Make a list of what you like doing. Make a list of what you do every day. Compare the two lists. Adjust accordingly. (shamelessly pinched from https://www.instagram.com/dallasclayton/)
10. Stop reading lists about how to be more productive.
Seriously. By now, you know how you work and what you do best. Do that. Do more of it.