I never thought I would write a blog.
Yet I have now been posting on here nearly every week for two years (!).
Being public with my thoughts was a frightening prospect. Especially if I didn’t feel they were ready. I like precision. I like sending my ideas out in their perfect final form. Yet most of my theories and ideas always feel 80% ready. They need a few more extra tweaks to get them bulletproof and ready for public consumption.
Except the world doesn’t wait until you’re ready.
Blogging demands something immediate, less digested, mostly because of the short time in which you need to keep pulling out your thoughts.
Except I’ve now come to realise that this is exactly what I required to get myself to put things down on paper.
Everyone in the world wants to get more done. Our thirst for life-hacks, productivity tricks, and cramming ever more hours of “hustle” into our day at the expense of a social life seems to be more rampant than ever.
For me, there’s only one secret of productivity that truly works like nothing else: Deadlines. Expectations. Pressure to deliver.
I’m lazy at heart. I love my work but hate having to get down to it. I hear about the elusive “flow” state of blissful productivity, and on some lucky days I get there, but more often I have to attack the page until words painstakingly appear, and striking upon a particular thought or idea is a blessed moment of peace amongst a frantic search for what I want to say.
I don’t know what you’re New Year’s Resolutions should be. But here are two things you should do:
(1) Find a way to put pressure on yourself – The more you create real deadlines and commitments, the more likely you are to stop muddling around and just get down to work. Period. The two best things I’ve ever accomplished were writing a book and writing a PhD, and both were only possible because of brutal deadlines with real consequences for failing.
(2) Make great daily habits, rather than trying to come up with long-term goals – Most people spend the new year obsessing over what they want to achieve in a year, instead of just focusing on getting the best out of every single day. If you structure your days for productivity and all the activities you love, you’re goals will often reveal themselves. Focus on great habits and the rest falls into place.
A new list of daily habits, whether for work, exercise, or socializing, is much more likely to ensure you see results in the next 3-6 months than worrying about your big five-year plan.
And the final rule…make sure one of those new actions or habits you take on is something that scares and excites you in equal measure.
Why? Because between fear and anticipation is where all the growth is.
Most likely you have an idea of something you’d like to do in your head that feels a little intimidating, a little scary to think about, yet deep down you know this is where you need to run towards.
If I’ve learnt anything it is to listen in those moments. Your instinct is telling you where you need to move next. Stop thinking and lean into it. It will feel exhilarating. It will feel new. It will feel like progress.
That’s all from me (at least for 2015).
Have an incredible New Year, and I’ll see you on the other side!
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Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.