During the process of baking a cake I never thought about the end product once. I was entirely focused on making sure that each step was as perfect as it can be. As a result of all these perfected little steps, the end product turned out great. This is a counter-intuitive way to focus on the right areas. How you can use this? Think about a goal you’re trying to achieve, it could be worked related, ‘increase sales by 5%’ or ‘get physically stronger’, etc. Increase sales by 5% doesn’t help you get closer to that goal. The process does. Are you generating enough leads, are you converting those leads, are your existing customers being taken care of. Think about at which point does the process break down. Are you getting enough customers but your conversion rate is low? Sales pitch/content might need revision /adapting. Start with your goal then work backwards and ask yourself: ‘what steps in the process do I need to focus on and what steps can I influence?’.
Takeaway: Have a goal AND breakdown the process down to focus on the part of the process you can influence.
Process, process, process, process, process, process, ….. process, process
As someone with no experience in the culinary arts, the first time I baked a cake changed my life. Starting with the ingredient list. I had to make sure to get all-purpose flour and not whole wheat or any of the 100 different kinds. So I spent an hour or so browsing the aisles at Woolworths trying to find either the right product to THE product itself. Bicarb soda was something I never bought before . After hauling all the ingredients home, the cooking process began. 3 eggs, 1 cup Greek yogurt, 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, etc. You get the point. As I went through this, at NO point was I thinking about the end product, I never thought: ‘this is going to be the best cake ever’ or thoughts like this. I was completely focused on making sure the measurements that went INTO the cake were perfect. EXACTLY 1 cup Greek yogurt, EXACTLY 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, making sure I whisked it ENOUGH but not TOO much.
The end product
After having produced a some-what edible cake I reflected on this experience. This approach could really be applied to almost all areas of my life. If I started with the goal (bake a cake) then work back and focus entirely on the process, the cake will be as good as it can be. Focusing on the goal really doesn’t influence whether you achieve it or not. With that being said, you need a goal to start and have it at the back of your mind but really the efforts should be entirely on each step.
For example: Gym
Goal: I want to bench 90kg. Process (what I should be focused on): how many times did I train chest this week? How much am I benching compared to last week/last month? Is it progressing? Do I need to change anything? Start with goal, continue with process.