To Make Progress, Start Tracking What You're Doing
(4 min read)
Many of us prefer to work in automation.
We like to do things spontaneously and hope the results come along the way.
It may seem like you have the freedom to operate, but this is not a way to reach your full potential.
Your true potential lies far beyond what you can realize.
You don't get to see your potential unless you paint an obscure picture and work your way backward to the present.
When I first came to the US as a 10th-grade high school student, I spoke very limited English and could barely write anything.
However, as I was exposed to the English-speaking environment, I began to see improvement.
It wasn't until my senior year of college, however, that I made significant progress in my performance in the second language.
At that time, I began tracking my language-related activities, including hours spent reading, writing, and speaking with professionals each day.
By doing so, my results skyrocketed. I felt more confident taking on more projects.
If I were to tell you that my second language is now better than my mother tongue, you might not believe me, but it's true.
If you compare the things that you're doing right now with the things you're supposed to do, you'll find that most of what you're doing isn't helping you reach your potential.
Learn to set goals and targets, and start tracking everything that you’re doing.
Your progress tells you if you’re progressing or not.
You can start a tracking system with just a pen and paper, but you must consistently monitor and update it.
Winning happens when you start tracking your work.
At work, track your production and output every single day to know if you're making progress.
If you're a salesperson, track your calls and conversions and all of your activity to see if you've taken enough action to make a difference.
If you’re a CEO, track key performance indicators so that you can influence the results.
It’s not just in the doing but also in the tracking.
Think. Do. Track. Repeat.
This is how you improve your performance.
Here are some essential rules to remember. These rules are applicable to anyone from students to employees, business owners, and investors:
If you cannot plan it, you cannot do it: Many people neglect to plan the steps they need to take, making it difficult to track their performance and results.
If you cannot track it, you cannot improve it: Without statistics and numbers to provide you with information, how can you increase or multiply your output? I'm not talking about calculus but simple arithmetic. You must have a place where your activity and output are saved over an extended period so that you can develop strategies to improve them.
If you don't cross it off, you haven't done it: Learn to cross things off and move on. I've seen so many people get stuck with one thing for months, such as tax planning, and never seem to get over it. Learn to cross things off before they overwhelm you in life.
Here's an activity you can do to 10X your growth this year.
Think of five main things you've done frequently in the past year, either at work or at home.
Get a piece of paper, or open a spreadsheet
For each thing on the list, record the activity as well as the outputs from that activity.
For instance, writing is an important activity in my work, so I monitor my writing progress daily.
Last year, I averaged around 1000 words per day and 7000 words per week.
Thanks to my records from the past year, I aim to increase my output to 3000 words per day and 21,000 words per week this year.
Without tracking my progress and output over the past year, I would not have been able to raise my output this much.
Tracking your activities and output is essential to forming good habits.
By establishing tracking habits yourself, you will see a massive change.
Remember, you can't track everything in life, so focus on things you can control that influence your performance and outcome.
If you're a salesperson, prioritize the number of contacts you reach out to each day.
If you're a company's CEO, prioritize the top 3-5 key performance indicators that influence the organization's outcomes.
If you're an athlete, prioritize your training and nutrition.
If you're a writer, prioritize your daily writing output.
If you're a musician, prioritize your daily practice sessions.
The more you track your progress, the more likely you are to reach your full potential and achieve your goals.
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