Productivity and the New Year's Anti-Resolution
I don't know about you guys, but I think the era of making new year's resolutions has passed. All year long we are bombarded with articles, blog posts, podcasts, and gifs that remind us that we need to self-improve. The infographics on Pinterest tell us how much we suck at drinking water. The pictures of the guys and gals on Instagram with the perfect abs remind us on a daily basis how fat and lazy we are. And we are constantly reminded how much our entire lives suck by looking at how perfect all our friends lives are on Facebook. This is life 365 days a year, so what makes us think that January presents some unique opportunity to elevate our game to the next level?
I think the institution known as New Year's Resolutions can be oppressive and counterproductive to us living our best lives. I think most people are less concerned with revamping who they are these days, and more concerned with two things.
- Maximizing their time.
- Maximizing their potential.
January 1st presents simply another opportunity for me to do what I do every month, and that is make plans. Serious plans. Plans to get things done, and plans to connect yet another dot to something that will bring me one step closer to maximizing my potential in this life. We are one week into the year and I have already had 6 meetings, all of which happened in 3 days. Here's the breakdown.
- Tuesday, 1/2/18- (12:30pm) Met with my operations manager to go over a new revenue projection system I developed for 2018. (2pm) Met with one of my business partners to go over expense projections, and branding for a new company we are starting.
- Thursday, 1/4/18- (11am) Met with the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce to go over a list of programs and ideas that I believe will help us operate more efficiently, and create more opportunities for local businesses. (2pm) Met with one of my trainers to talk marketing strategy for The Pink Power Movement, a new girls empowerment program I've developed. (3pm) Meeting with Dave from SailPlay about the role their interface can play in the development of my new corporate wellness program.
- Friday, 1/5/18- (2:30pm) Met with the managers at Glenview Bank & Trust to go over finance options for a commercial building purchase.
Week two is here and I've already booked 5 meeting and counting. Now, I know what a lot of you are thinking. How is scheduling a bunch of meetings going to help you maximize your potential? The truth is that it might not, but connecting with people is a crucial part of the productivity plan that I like to call Action 101. Here's the play by play.
- Think It- Like I said before, I believe that people are mainly concerned with two things. Maximizing their time, and their potential, and I know that it is impossible for you to maximize your potential without doing some serious thinking. If you know me at all, than you know I am not short on ideas. I spend an incredible amount of time thinking and generating new ideas. Here are two things that allow my ideas to flow freely.
- I have absolutely no filter. Every idea that comes to my head I believe is a good one.
- I have created spaces in my life that facilitate the birth of ideas.
Many people don't spend time digging through their thoughts and ideas, because they don't believe they have any winning concepts. Forget about what your ideas will do, or not do. Just think. Just create. Just get it out. It is also essential that you find a place where you feel comfortable thinking. I don't care if it's on the toilet, in the shower, or in your office, take the time to recognize where you are generating your craziest ideas, and make it a habit to go into the situation ready to generate and notate.
- Share It- This is where those damn meetings come in. Before I get into the importance of collaboration, I want to tell you that if you want to maximize your time, than you better start making appointments. Make appointments with your wife, your friends, your co-workers, and yourself. Maximizing your time is a numbers game, and that requires efficiency, organization, and accountability. When you make an appointment with someone, you typically have to be there (unless you are a complete amateur), and therefore you will be getting things done...hence productive. But now, lets talk about why it's important to reach out to people. Maximizing your potential is probably going to require you to have multiple pots on the stove. Looking at your circle of influence, and connecting with people that can either help you develop your idea, and or give you valuable insight is key. I personally believe that the future of everything is in collaboration, and co-branding. I also believe that ideas simply remain thoughts unless you master the art of sharing.
- Do It- This is the most simple yet the most complicated part of Action 101, and it goes a little something like this. If you have an idea, and you have shared it with someone worth collaborating with, you must then take a step towards making it happen. I don't care how small that step is. DO SOMETHING! Download an app that helps you make a business plan. Buy a domain name. (I own like 200...don't tell my wife) Secure a gmail account, a social media account, do some preliminary research, draw some sketches. I don't care...just do something. The quality of your life is determined by the nature and the sum of your habits, and if you make doing something a habit, I promise you, things will get done.
So here's the important stuff. (for those of you that just scroll to the bottom)
- Proficiencies over Deficiencies-Your life doesn't need to have a "six pack."
- No limit on thoughts- Let your imagination run wild. If you want create a mobile application where people post senseless nonsense all day and call it Twitter than go for it.
- Share if you dare- Connect the right ideas with the right people in your life.
- Just do it- Just put your name on the paper...just start.
In ancient Roman religion, Janus was believed to be the god of new beginnings. He is depicted as having two faces, one directed towards the future, and the other to the past. Don't let old habits slow you down. Cut your ties to the past, and embrace the actions of tomorrow.