Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort. – Paul J. Meyer
Are you determined to make 2023 a better year than the last? Do want to look back on 2023, when all is said and done, and be proud of yourself and what you’ve accomplished?
No matter what your 2022 was like, 2023 can be a breakthrough year for you if you set yourself up to win. Here’s how to do exactly that:
Identify or Dig Deeper into Your “Why”
We’re all capable of getting more done.
And you may be saying to yourself, “that’s not true – if I knew how, I would already be doing more, and I would not be reading this article!”
No, it’s not “how” that matters. It’s why.
Baptist minister and rights leader Benjamin Mays said:
The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.
We must be clear on the goal. We must be clear on our why. This sets into motion not just the want to be more productive, but the need to be more productive.
Our purpose informs our goals, and our goals inform our activity. When these are in perfect alignment, we’ll never be caught in the motivation trap, trying to pump ourselves up for things we don’t even want to do. Besides, motivation doesn’t last, unless you fuel up on it daily.
You’ll know when you’ve identified your “why,” because it will move you. It will make you cry; it will spring you to action, it will keep you up at night just thinking about it.
And if you already know your “why,” then dig deeper into it. There may be an aspect of your purpose you’re not present to yet and added clarity will only make the fire burn brighter.
Once we have the foundational mindset bit covered, we can move onto tactics and tools. Until then, methodologies and techniques matter not. Your “why” is your foundation.
Focus on Process, Not Outcome
When it comes to productivity, we often miss the forest for the trees.
If you look at the matter closely, you’ll see that what you’re after in any endeavor is not the outcome. Reaching your goals may make you happy for a few minutes, maybe an hour, but that’s all you get. Chances are, there won’t even be a party in your honor unless you throw it.
What we’re after is a feeling – the feeling of having something we desire. And that feeling is largely found in the process. Outcomes are worth celebrating, but no matter the achievement, the novelty of it will wear off in short order. The juice truly is in the process.
… how do you create a goal-setting system that will help you not only get what you want, but also feel satisfied and motivated on a daily basis? The trick is to stop focusing on the end point and instead start focusing on your process. If you can feel good about your daily actions working toward something important to you, it will help you stay on track.
What systems do you have to keep you on track? If the process is truly more important than the outcome, then you need a process for the process. Without that, you will be torn every which way.
All things being equal, those with structures to fulfill on their desired outcomes are more likely to achieve their goals than those who don’t. Creating structures is what it looks like to focus on process rather than outcome.
We carry baggage from the past as though we’re entitled to it, and then blame the world when our experience of life stays about the same or gradually worsens.
Think of it this way. If you had a bad breakup once, and every time you ran into someone that reminded you of the person you broke up with, what are you most likely to do? Run the other way.
Because of the traumas, pains, and hurts we carry, we end up letting the past run our lives, often oblivious to who’s running the show.
Moreover, we don’t recognize that completion is available. It must be created, but it is available.
Where is completion created? In conversation. Completion can also be declared, and it can be created in the actions we take as well. But don’t expect to find completion where there is no action.
For a bit of “tough love,” I always like to turn to author and lecturer Werner Erhard. Here’s a brilliant quote about forgiveness and completion:
People often don’t understand what is involved in forgiving. They think that if somebody does something wrong, and you forgive them, that is like saying that it was alright to do it that time – but don’t dare do it again. But life doesn’t work that way; and it’s stupid or hypocritical to forgive someone on that basis. If somebody does something, you can be sure that he or she will do it again. That is why I prefer to talk about ‘making space’ and ‘completion.’ To the extent that forgiveness is involved, it is more like self-forgiving and self-acceptance. When you forgive yourself for something, you have to create the space for that thing to exist. For whatever you resist, and fail to make space for, will indeed manifest itself in you.
What will completion do for you? It will leave you free and clear to focus on the present instead of relying on the past for every decision. And that creates new possibilities in your life. Enjoy the ride, because if you intentionally cause completion in every area of life you see to, life will become unpredictable (and fun) once again.
I am biased, of course, but I believe there’s nothing quite like making an investment in yourself to “seal the deal.” It’s fun to read articles and try different tools, but at the end of the day, making a commitment to yourself is what’s going to make the difference in 2023.
My Productivity, Performance & Profits Blackbook documents all my best ideas and methodologies around productivity, as well as those I’ve picked up from high performers and top achievers. Normally, it costs $57 USD, but you can pre-order it until February 28, 2023, for just $10 USD. Click here to learn more.
What will you be taking on in 2023? What productivity processes have you implemented? What actions do you see to take in making this your best year yet?
In uncertain times, it’s easy to get caught up in doing a lot of fancy, new things that might not yield results. But sometimes, the best thing you can do is get back to the basics.
That’s what we’re going to be looking at in this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast.
00:31 – Creativity is all about the process
00:55 – Year one mindset
01:20 – Are you doing what you know you need to do?
02:05 – Are you still committed to learning?
03:10 – Do you have the right pieces in place?
04:22 – Are you making checklists and procedure documents?
05:30 – Are you taking care of yourself?
06:32 – Episode summary
06:56 – First-time coaching special
Hey, it’s David Andrew Wiebe.
We need to be able to find joy in the process.
Creativity is all about the process, and if we end up focusing on the results, we can rob ourselves from the joys of creating. Your creativity has a way of becoming a means to an end if all you care about are the results.
Which is why I thought I would talk about getting back to the basics. I have found incredible value in adopting a year one mindset. And what that means is letting go of whatever has or hasn’t happened in the past. It means getting excited about the process again.
So, here are some questions you can ask yourself to see whether you’re engaging in and focusing on the right things as you look to create and share your music in 2021.
Are You Doing What You Know You Need to do?
This might seem like an odd question, but it’s essential.
If you know you’ve got a performance coming up, be it a live stream or otherwise, are you spending time preparing for that performance?
Are you building out your website?
Are you engaging your social media following?
Are you sending out weekly email newsletters?
This is all quite basic, and nowhere near as sexy as Clubhouse or Instagram. But doing what you know you need to do has a way of producing the results. Whereas experimenting with the latest social media platform can wait.
Consider sitting with this question for a while. You will begin to see things you could be dedicating some time and effort to.
Are You Still Committed to Learning?
Are there gaps in your knowledge? Things you know you should learn, but have neglected? Things you keep avoiding?
I’ve been watching my business coach’s old training videos, and I’ve come to see just how adept he is at things I have considered boring – things like keyword and competitive research, conversion tracking links, identifying business opportunities, profit and loss statements, and more.
Now, as a musician you might not be actively thinking about those things. You might be trying to learn the Lydian mode, or trying to coordinate outfits with your band, or figuring out how to film your own music videos.
The point is that we all have gaps in knowledge and oversights. There are things we avoid, things we don’t like, things we’re not good at.
If these areas don’t have a direct impact on our careers, then we don’t necessarily need to put all our time into developing strengths in them.
But if they are holding back our careers, we should be willing to revisit them. Because our next breakthrough might come from augmenting our weaknesses.
Do You Have the Right Pieces in Place?
You may have heard me talk about James Schramko’s Own The Racecourse methodology before. It’s a system for creating your own platform and growing it through the publishing of content.
Well, for a long time, I’ve been doing a lot of the work myself, either because I was afraid to hire, or I just didn’t have enough revenue to be able to bring someone on the team.
But I recently brought on a podcast editor, and this has shaved several hours of my week I can reallocate to other work or just relaxing and resting.
And that’s when I started to see that the system works much better when you have the right pieces in place. I didn’t. I was trying to do it all myself.
So, are there any apps you know you should buy but haven’t yet? Would you benefit from hiring a freelancer to handle your graphics? Could you delegate menial tasks to someone who would be willing to handle them for a small fee?
The engine works much better when all the other parts also have what they need to operate, be it fluids, belts, batteries, or otherwise. I don’t understand cars that well. I just thought it was a good metaphor.
Are You Making Checklists and Procedure Documents?
Here’s one thing I know a lot of people find boring. But creating and following checklists or procedure documents allows you to do things more consistently and efficiently.
I have a checklist for content syndication and distribution. So, whenever I publish a new post, I just follow that checklist, and I’m done getting my content out to a dozen or so platforms in 10 to 15 minutes. I wouldn’t be as consistent, let alone efficient, if I didn’t have that document.
This kind of goes hand in hand with the last question, but it’s drilling a little deeper into the pieces. And each piece kind of needs its own checklists or procedures.
And it also relates to what I said earlier about boring tasks, because to a creative, systems seem incredibly uncreative.
You don’t need to systemize your songwriting. But maybe having a process for your new releases would cut down on a lot of planning, brainstorming, and thinking. If you have a procedure you can follow and depend on every time you release new music, you can speed up the process and be clear on what you need to do next.
Are You Taking Care of Yourself?
As I’ve said so many times before, your career or business doesn’t exist without you. In the car metaphor, you are the engine. And without the engine, the car can’t run. Kind of like how you need a liver to live.
Nothing else works when you don’t work. And the cost of burnout can be significant in terms of time and money. Recovering from my last burnout took the better part of six months, and I still find that I need to moderate my workload and beware of overdoing work, caffeine, exercise, or otherwise.
Are you feeding yourself quality fuel? Are you getting sleep and rest? Are you moving your body?
Have a listen to episode 227 of the podcast with Yannick Tinguely if you haven’t already. He offers some great tips on taking care of your health and fitness.
If you want to get back to the basics, you’ve got to always make sure you’re in good working order. You can’t perform at your best unless you’re looking after you.
In summary, here are the questions
Are you doing what you know you need to do?
Are you still committed to learning?
Do you have the right pieces in place?
Are you making checklist and procedure documents?
Are you taking care of yourself?
If you’re already engaging in the basics, great. Otherwise, spend some time inside these questions. You will benefit from reflecting on them.
So, if you need guidance on any of this, I have been a long-time musician and creative coach. I have a program called the First-Time Coaching Special, for people like you who have yet to work with me. It’s heavily discounted for newcomers. If you’d like to get started, simply go to davidandrewwiebe.com/Special.
This has been episode 230 of The New Music Industry Podcast.
I’m David Andrew Wiebe, and I look forward to seeing you on the stages of the world.
The Leading Artist Coach
Hey! I’m author, entrepreneur, and musician David Andrew Wiebe. Learn more >