The Only Productivity Secret You’ll Ever Need

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“That’s how I will write this blog. 2,000 words at a time. Maybe nobody will read it, but I will succeed in writing it.”

Do Something. Like Right Now.

Or, Why reading a bunch of inspirational quotes on Pinterest is never going to help you run the world

Today’s post is going to be short, sweet, concise, and probably a little cliche. But that’s okay. If the idea didn’t work, it wouldn’t be so popular, right?

There are two steps to accomplishing anything, whether it’s running a marathon (why is this always the first example people go to for impressive things? Like are marathons really that cool?), learning a new move in pole dancing (that’s more relevant for me, personally), or starting a business (which is probably why you’re here, eh? Maybe I should have led with that).

Those two steps are: (1) figuring out the thing you’re supposed to do, and then (2) doing the thing.

Alright, have a good day. Leave a comment, subscribe, etc.

The Only Productivity Hack You'll Ever Need to Get Things Done and Conquer the World (Or, why all your inspirational graphics are useless) / Blue Sky and Dry Land / Michael Noker

But Michael, you say, with serious concern that you’re wasting your time reading this article both because of the cliche advice and also the cliche of this weird hypothetical conversation that is definitely not happening in your head in the first place because you’re a grown ass adult and who talks like this anyways, except that it’s not actually that simple, is it?

Well, yes.

It is.

It is that simple. The only recipe you need for accomplishing your goal is figuring out how to accomplish your goal, and then doing it.

It’s that simple.

But it’s not easy.

Is there even a productivity secret?

And I guess that’s where the issue lies. Most of us can sit down and craft up a pretty picture of what our lives could look like if only. We’re perfectly capable of dreaming, even if we don’t always admit what those dreams are to ourselves.

If you’re one of those people, I highly recommend you go pick up a copy of Girl, Stop Apologizing (yep that’s an affiliate link) and read it cover-to-cover. Like today. Throw out those excuses.

Most of us can even get an idea of how we could get to those dream lives. Some are more complex than others, of course, but even so, unless your dream is truly groundbreaking (I’m talking florals for spring groundbreaking) (yep, also an affiliate link), there’s someone who’s already doing exactly what you want to do. You could almost certainly find that someone, send them an email (or Snap or whatever y’all are using these days), and just… ask them.

The only secret you need for getting things done and achieving all your wildest dreams. / Blue Sky and Dry Land / Michael Noker

You could call Anne Hathaway and say, “Hey, Anne Hathaway, I really loved how you played your role in that one movie about Anna Wintour and I also want to be glitzy af. How do I become an actress?” And Anne Hathaway would say, “Well, first you learn how to act, and then you start auditioning, and then you keep auditioning and working on your acting until someday, with any luck and skill, you’ll land your dream role and suddenly you’ll be wondering how some random stranger got your phone number and called you at 3 AM.”

It’s that simple.

But none of that is easy.

All of it takes tenacity, guts, bravery, courage, dauntlessness, and whatever other word you want to use to describe the ability to keep going in the face of rejection and constant focus on improving to meet the demands of the circumstances you eventually want to find yourself in.

That’s not easy.

It takes a lot. It takes digging deep, facing your childhood traumas, picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and trying again and again. It takes redirecting yourself time and time again to find a way to get past all the obstacles even when they seem insurmountable.

In which we check our privilege…

And, in reality, for many of us it takes overcoming things that truly can be insurmountable, like racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, colorism, poverty, transphobia, a lack of education, a disability, a chronic illness, a mental illness, domestic violence, criminal records, or body shaming. It means fighting the patriarchy, becoming an activist, and maybe – perhaps most painful and difficult of all of this – losing touch with our families, our communities, and our former selves.

But it’s all doable.

Not easy.

But doable.

It can be done.

I think we all owe it to ourselves to at least try.

We can’t do much individually about a lot of those things except keep ourselves aware of what sort of adversity we’ll be faced with, help other people overcome their own limitations, and hope that somewhere, someone is fighting just as hard for you as you are for them.

I can fight as hard as I can against racism and sexism and hope that somewhere, a black woman is arguing equally hard with her husband about his homophobic remarks.

We really are stronger together.

And in the meantime, I can also write 2,000 words every day.

That’s how I will write this blog. 2,000 words at a time. Maybe nobody will read it, but I will succeed in writing it.

That number serves me in two ways.

First, it gives me a daily goal that feels doable.

Second, it advances me on the path toward my goal, which is to write a blog.

Not to hit a million monthly readers, not to get sales for my business, not to change the world. For now, I just want to write a blog and get back into it again. This is my start.

So I will write 2,000 words every day, until I feel it’s time to start pursuing something bigger.

Then I’ll find another thing I can do every day to get me there.

So today, I want you to do the same. I want you to find something doable that you can plan to do every day to help you start building momentum. Maybe that’s just making it a point to create a to-do list every morning so you’ll stay organized for the rest of your day. Maybe it’s writing a few words like I am. Maybe it’s taking a walk around the block or spending a few minutes practicing a language (it’s how I learned two of the four languages I speak, actually), or even just making it a point to do something for yourself every day.

Whatever it is, choose it, commit to it, write it down, set yourself a reminder, and start doing it today.

When you choose it, let me know what it is in the comments (you’ll make my day – nobody leaves comments on blogs anymore, so I’ll feel like the greatest blogger in the world every time you choose to interact with me).

And maybe while you’re at it, consider subscribing for more like this.

Let’s do the thing.

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