A System for Being Productive and Happy

A System for Being Productive and Happy

As you get older, you settle on things that work for you. I feel like this at the moment about goal setting and planning.

It’s been a long, and sometimes frustrating journey and I’ve tried many different things.

I spent most of my twenties using Tony Robbin’s RPM system. It’s a very rigid goal setting and planning framework. It helped me stay focused and I got results, but it didn’t make me happy. I found myself frequently re-writing goals as my priorities changed. I also felt overwhelmed most of the time.

I also tried having no goals. Leo Babauta’s Achieving Without Goals was a big influence on my thinking. It felt OK for a while and I was definitely more present, and a bit happier. But, I couldn’t shake the anxiety of feeling directionless and unproductive. The best way to describe how I felt, was ‘flat’.

Over the last year or so, I’ve settled on something in the middle. It’s really working for me. I’m happier, more focused and getting more done than I ever have. For the first time in my life, I have a good balance.

I don’t have specific goals. But, I do have a process for defining where I want to put my focus and energy. Importantly, it’s flexible so it can cope when my priorities or values change.

This influences my weekly and daily planning – in fact, it underpins it. Which surprise, surprise, I have a process I follow which is proving very effective. This planning is critical to taking control of my weeks and days.

Maybe I had to try the two extremes to end up here. I definitely had a big shift in values a few years ago and this drove me to experiment with no goals. My learnings from having no goals, helped form my thinking today.

Why am I saying all this?

I’ve been thinking about pulling it together into something other people can use. A long form article, or even a course. It’s still a raw idea at the moment, so I don’t know where I will take it.

But, what I do know, is things are great at the moment. I’m focused and super productive. I’m rarely overwhelmed. And I’m more present and happy than I’ve ever been. So, I can’t help but think people will get a lot of value by seeing how it all fits together.

Something to think about. Watch this space.


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