Lately I’ve given myself a new mantra. It was largely driven by my reading of Linchpin. When I’m reviewing my day, often while lying in bed at night, the question I ask myself is,
“Did I do the work today?”
Not “did I get a bunch of stuff done today?” or “did I feel busy?” but “did I do the work?”
I can keep myself busy all day but never really do the work.
The work is defined as the thing that I need to do. It’s what no one else can do in my place. It’s often the place where I feel the most of what Steven Pressfield calls “resistance”.
It’s the place where I need to show guts and be aggressive. To fight fear. To create value that I can uniquely create.
It probably has little to do with my technical work. It’s usually more about pushing myself to do the really important (and really difficult) stuff.
So lately I regularly remind myself to do the work and at night I ask myself, “did I do the work today?” It’s been a helpful metric.