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How can I … be more successful – instantly?

As we’ve talked about, success is a process.

To really get an understanding of this process, we can begin to problem solve areas of our life with one of our favorite activities: the Best Work Tool.

This only takes a minute, but it can quickly reveal what your real goals should be.

With those goals, you can then find what is stopping you from achieving them. Et voila! You have clear problems to address.

To do the Best Work tool, just follow these easy steps:

●      Grab a pen and paper.

●      Draw a rectangle

●      Break the rectangle into three parts

○      One side shows the percentage of your week that’s the best

○      The middle sections shows the percentage of your week that’s good

○      The other side shows the percentage of your week that’s only average)

Right now you might be asking what “best,” “good,” and “average” mean. That’s up to you to define.

Now that you have your Best Work finished, ask yourself some simple questions:

●      How do I define best, good and average?

●      How can I maximize the amount of best work I do in a week?

This is such a powerful tool because it gives you two really important insights. First, it shows you what you prioritize and like about your life. Humans are so diverse that this will be different for just about everybody. But if we never really sit back and ask ourselves, we won’t be able to maximize our best.

The second thing this tool shows us is what is holding us back from doing more of our best and less of our average.

Let’s look at an example.

Katia is a freelance graphic designer. In recent months, she feels like something is off. She is slow to complete tasks and doesn’t get the thrill from her work that she used to.

She uses the Best Work tool and finds that her best work is when she is taking on projects for non-profits that help causes she cares about — particularly poverty relief. She finds her good work contains all the other projects that she enjoys, mostly making logos and websites for companies and individuals. 

Her average work is made up of all the emails, paper work and self-promotion she has to do. Since her career has taken off, it seems like she has to do much more of this than ever before. 

See how with a single minute can change Katia’s whole perspective on what is wrong? Now she has a clear goal: find a way to get more clients she likes and reduce the amount of paperwork she has to do. 

She might decide to do more direct marketing and networking with organizations she’d love to work with. And for paperwork, she might find it’s really worth it to pay someone to take it off her hands. Whatever she decides works for her, she has clear issues to address. 

This can also be a transformative experience to do with a team. 

Allowing everyone on the team to define their own ideas of what is best, good and average allows teammates to identify their coworker’s needs. It can also allow managers to see things they never knew before. Where do people’s strengths really lie? Are there ways of adjusting people’s work so that everyone gets to do more of their best and less of their average?

Of course, you’ll never get to 100% best work. We all have to do things we aren’t exactly excited about. But the idea is that, with a little self awareness, we can take meaningful steps to increase the amount of time we spend doing our best work.