Ihave managed to complete a tremendous amount of work over the years, primarily because of a weakness known as anxiety. Anxiety drove me to complete a lot of work to distract my mind from what was really happening.
When I overcame my anxiety, the skill of being able to produce a huge amount of work remained.
Completing lots of work has become a coping mechanism for me over the years that has provided a strategy as to what to do next after some kind of trauma — like seeing a loved one die or losing my job — has found its way into my life and destroyed my sense of reality.
Over the last few years, I have read more than one hundred books on productivity to understand more about how people get tremendous amounts of work done and work their way towards their goals and a life that didn’t seem possible before.
Below are the skills those tremendously productive people use.
1. They don’t ask for permission
You don’t need permission to do your work or release it to the world.
A reader messaged me the other day and asked me if I could give her permission to publish a story about her workplace. I told her, “You don’t need permission — it’s your story and your life.”
People that complete lots of work do so because they are not waiting for someone else to tell them that they are good enough. You could say it’s a belief in themselves that allows them to work, release their work, and repeat the process.
No one can give you permission to do your work because none of us are you. Drop the need for a permission slip and focus on doing your work. You’re good enough already (permission granted).
2. They don’t ask for validation
When you ask for validation, there’s no point.
All the work you do is subjective. Some articles I publish seem to hit a nerve and others go on to be hated by the world for all of eternity. People that seem to get their work done avoid waiting for someone to validate that they are on the right path.
If you are being highly innovative with your work and doing things that have never been done before, no one can validate that — it’s unproven and that’s freaking cool if you ask me.
Replace validation for doing more work.
3. They don’t live by rules
People that produce an incredible amount of work don’t seem to have any rules. They’re not wearing magic underwear or hoping that if they have enough bulletproof coffee’s they’ll be awesome.
Throw away the rule book. The game has changed and you make up the rules. You’re born, alive for a few decades, and then dead again.
There’s no time to be following rules, or worse, trying to play by other people’s rules.
Everyone will tell you the rules you must follow, but that is just based on their view of the world.
You are free to have your own view of the world and that unique perspective creates some of the best work you’ve ever produced in your life.
Break the rules and do your work your way. You got this.
4. They take the best first-action
Getting started on your work is the hardest bit. People that produce stupid amounts of work take the best first-action. They start somewhere and then progress from there.
A first step is better than a step never taken or a step that is delayed for years.
None of us has all the answers and we’re making this shit up as we go along. Whatever feels like the right place to begin is.
- Write that first blog post.
- Shoot that first video.
- Start that first business.
- Go on that first date.
- Marry that love of your life.
- Have that baby you’re scared to have.
- Face what makes you feel sick in your stomach.
Getting a tremendous amount of work done comes down to how quick you can take that first step and figure the rest out as you go. Take a risk and get started; you’ll never regret it.
5. They don’t talk, they do
Talking a big game about everything you’re going to do is only pissing the limited time you have against the wall and letting it flow down into the sewers of uncompleted actions.
Do the thing. Present the thing. Say the thing. Show up for the thing.
People that get more work done than you can ever imagine, follow one simple idea: they place taking action as the highest priority on their to-do list. They’d rather take action and test their idea than hypothesize or get dressed up into a suit and talk strategy for dinner. Just do.
“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” — Phillip Roth
6. They drop the excuses
There are so many reasons not to do your work. You have a family and a job and an obligation to make money to pay the bills and people who depend on you.
Your calendar is jam-packed and there’s always a need for more time. This is the mumbo jumbo of excuses that stand in the way of doing the work.
You get your work done by dropping your excuses and prioritizing your work. You can schedule your work in your calendar first and center other tasks around your work. It’s a similar idea to the cliche finance quote “pay yourself first.” Except this time, it’s “do your work first” and “spend the rest of your time on everything else later.”
Getting lots of work done comes down to your approach. A shift in thinking and a slight change to your beliefs can help you start getting more work done right away.
I blame all of my positive results in writing on the forced skill of doing my work. There are lots of people you can ask advice from, but in the end, they can’t do the work for you.
You’re good enough to produce tremendous amounts of work and set it free into the world without worrying whether it’s good, bad, or average.
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