As an artist, you make things. You have your own process and tools that help you accomplish your goals. For instance, as a writer, you might show up every day and write so you can finish your book. Finishing your book is an outcome. Writing every day to reach that outcome is the process. Your job is to spend x amount of time every day. You don’t know where you’ll end up in a given day with the work you produce, but that’s okay. You know the outcome, and you have a process in place that will help you get there as long as you stick to it. That is when you forget about the outcome and let the process take over.
When you have the right process in place (and use it), then it’s just a matter of time before you reach the outcome you want. It’s not a question of if, but when you’ll reach that outcome.
So what makes process work?
- When you have a process in place, you’ll eventually reach an outcome.
Having a process removes the thinking required for what you have to do (including how, where, and when) in order to reach your outcome because you’ve defined them in advance.
It lets you focus on doing the work as opposed to merely thinking about it; you trust it, but you can’t plan and do at the same time. You stop worrying about (or dwelling on) outcomes, and start working on them. Of course, this is not to say you’ll always have the correct plan in motion, but you can always course-correct along the way.
Process helps you not just reach an outcome, but, more importantly, it helps you define that outcome (and frame it).
Here are some ways you can use process in your life:
- Run meetings effectively (process) to get the results you want (outcome).
- Work in 90-minute intervals (process) to get work done (outcome).
- Show up every day to work at the same time because you’re a pro, which is based on the outcome you’ve envisioned for yourself.
- Define work every day (process) to stay on top of your commitments (outcome).
- Plan your week (process) to do things better (outcome).
- Have (and use) a trusted system to ensure you have the order you need (process) so you can be fully creative in the space you have. Plus, it allows you to be present (outcomes).
- Allocate enough time for both work and play (process) so you can live a more happy, fulfilled life (outcome).
- Eat, move, sleep (process) to positively impact your feelings throughout the day (outcome).
- Eat right and exercise consistently (process) to stay healthy and fit (outcome).
- Establish a morning and evening routine (process), which will lead to improved daily effectiveness at work (outcome). Routine is a form of process applied to ourselves.
- Manage your subscriptions well (process) so you don’t have to think about it (outcome).
These are just a few of the many examples where you can use process to reach the outcome you want.
How do we use process to achieving meaningful outcomes. Well, we start with the end in mind. We need to be able to figure out what the end looks like for any project. In order to figure out what that end even looks like, we need to use a creative process. An example of such a process is Explore, Evaluate, Execute. Using this process helps you figure out not just what an outcome might look like for you, but also how to go about achieving it. This helps you define (and frame) the right problem to solve. Once you’ve defined your problem (outcome), then you can use the same process to reach your outcome. Going through this process will determine the outcome you want for yourself. Then, it’s simply a matter of setting up the right systems and showing up to do the work.
You can have a process for anything at work or in life. At work, you can have a process for the way you run meetings. You can have a process for how you spend your work days/weeks. When you’re traveling, you can have a pre-defined travel checklist. Having this process in place ensures that you remember to do everything before you leave.
There is tremendous power in using process to determine an outcome. Following the process requires a great amount of self-discipline, which in turn is part of a serious commitment that you make. But if we use the process to first determine the outcome we desire, then we can work backwards to use the power of process repeatedly to reach our outcomes.
When you have the right outcomes and the right process in place, it’ll only be a matter of time before you reach those outcomes. It’s inevitable.