Here’s What You Need To Get More Done In 2016

Stephen Hussey

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.

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7 Replies to “Here’s What You Need To Get More Done In 2016”

  • Wow, this was a really good post! I am one of those needs deadlines and a bit of a push people. Gaining an understanding of self is a key to success. Why do I do the things I do, and what is the best strategy for ME? is something I need to reflect on this week.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. Good luck to you in the few moments left of the year and good luck for 2016!


  • “make sure one of those new actions or habits you take on is something that scares and excites you in equal measure.” Yes, yes, yes!! That is so true. :)

  • Dear Dr. Hussey,
    So what are your thoughts on the crisis in Syria and how they are affecting global politics… wait… wrong blog

    On a more topic specific note, I find this idea of motivation fascinating. In my work I am always looking for ways to motivate people to action! At times it can be challenging and intimidating, even in my own life. I appreciate your insights in this matter and will be setting goals and deadlines in an attempt to improve my life and that of my clients/patients. Thank you!

    Ashley B
    MH retreat December 2015

    P.s. I will be dancing/salsa dancing my way into 2016! Hope you experience that same thrill going into this year!

  • Has it been two years? I’m still taking that in.
    You are so right in what you say, I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve actually had to read the article a few times to digest it. And I think, along with following the lines you’ve written about, my improved ability to focus has significantly changed my whole life approach. I very recently had a hugely important meeting and was driving the long drive there. I thought I’d put my music on, be engrossed in it and just try to get there on time. But this time was different. I set off with lots of time to spare, so even if there was a hold up, I wouldn’t have to panic. I dressed smartly but comfortably, in an outfit that was me not me trying to be someone else. I did my hair, make up and forgot about it. In the car lots of other worries, pressing issues and things that need doing in the not too distant future started to flood into my head. But I thought no, just park them and literally just think about what you have to do today and only that. I was calm when I got there, very reasoned in my argument, really engaged my brain on the matter in hand and forced the events in my favour. On the drive home I was mentally and physically exhausted but now I am exhilarated.
    It’s so hard to change behaviour but I now see what you mean when you say focus on habits. Taking each day or small steps will amount to an overall larger improvement. How far we have come?!
    Lean in, absolutely. Engage your brain with your soul.
    Here’s to a more wonderful year than the last one, onwards and upwards.
    Kathryn xxxx

  • I ditto what Kathryn said: two years already?!
    In regards to point #1, I would question whether we really need more pressure on our lives–feel as if we have enough pressure from jobs, people, busyness. But I get what you’re saying about deadlines. Realized as I reflected on my monthly goals from the past couple years that I basically only accomplished those attached to deadlines. Point #2 is so true! Habits form our years.

  • Happy New Year, Stephen!

    Sometimes simple slogans and truisms propel me into action. Your concept of New Year Habit Resolutions, rather than Achievement Resolutions, is very potent.

    I am also motivated by the economics concept of opportunity cost. The opportunity cost of surfing the web is not writing my book. If only I could remember it while browsing!


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