Have fun with this week's inspirational nugget and technical article.
Inspirational Nugget of the Week
Enjoy the Process
"For passion to survive, it needs structure." Simon Sinek in Start with Why.
A big challenge in growing yourself, a product, a relationship, a team, or a <insert the thing you want to grow> is to do the things that move the needle in the right direction. And in most cases, it's not enough to do those things once, but we have to do them over and over again to achieve growth.
That means that to grow, we have to establish a process of doing the right things. A process defines the steps we need to do to achieve a goal. Imagine an online business without an automated payment process. Each payment would be handled differently, making payments painful for the customers and inhibiting growth for the business.
Enjoying doing the right things is great. It makes it easier to do those things. But enjoying the process of doing the right things is even more powerful. If we enjoy the process, we keep doing the right things even if we don't enjoy those things much. The process will drive us forward.
Here are some thoughts about how to kick off a process and make it enjoyable.
Identify the things that move your needle. Make a list of the things that you need to do. Reading a bit every day. Watering the plants every two days. Socializing with co-workers once a week. Whatever you need to do to grow. For each of those things, note why you should do them. If you can't answer "why?" it may not be worth doing those things, after all.
Schedule time each week to do those things. Put those things into your calendar. If you have to coordinate with other people to make a calendar entry (for example if your "thing" is to socialize with co-workers), then block some time in your calendar to coordinate, instead. Make it a daily or weekly ritual to allocate your time for the next day or week. The activity of scheduling your days becomes the process for your growth engine!
Make it attractive. Borrowed from James Clear's "Atomic Habits": you will only do something if it's attractive. For me, it works quite well to do the scheduling for the next day each evening after work. Planning out tomorrow's calendar makes me feel prepared for the next day and lets my brain wind down because it knows everything is taken care of. I'm actually looking forward to this feeling of security every day! This feeling is the driver for scheduling my days.
Make it satisfying. Also borrowed from "Atomic Habits": you will only do something again if it was satisfying. How can you get satisfaction from the process of scheduling your days? I'm struggling with this. I'm thinking about writing a weekly "progress report" about the things I've done that week, just so that I have some tangible result of my work that I can look at and feel satisfied. Let's see how that works out.
My process is "scheduling my days". As long as I enjoy scheduling my days, it doesn't matter too much what the actual tasks during a day are. I'm enjoying the process and that's what keeps me going forward. Let me know what works for you!