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.
World champion mountain biker Sonya Looney says:
… 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?