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Senior Correspondent

Work: It Makes a Difference

Work: It Makes a Difference


It matters more that you believe in work than you believe in yourself. You say if you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t work. But self-belief is irrelevant if you don’t work. Work makes you matter. Work so you don’t have to work misses the point. Believe in work or drift into oblivion.

16 ways to believe in work:

  1. People are the work of leaders.
  2. The point of self-reflection is effective, efficient work.
  3. Everyone who fulfills their purpose in this world works.
  4. Fear insignificance. Those who are able to work but don’t lead irrelevant lives.
  5. “Don’t prepare. Begin,” says Steven Pressfield in "The War of Art."
  6. Spend energy on things that produce results. If you feel like you’re wasting time, you already have.
  7. Put your head down, and get something done. The trouble with big dreams is they paralyze. Dream of getting something done today.
  8. Focus on what’s most important during peak performance time. Are you a night owl? Do what means the most at night.
  9. Eliminate distraction and multitasking. Let’s say your concentration capacity is 15 minutes. Block out 15 minutes, and work on one thing.
  10. Honor your talent by protecting, developing and exercising it while you work.
  11. Ignore every reason for not working. There are a million reasons not to work. Ignore them all.
  12. Produce mediocre results, but produce something. Improve results tomorrow.
  13. Read "The War of Art." I own a hard copy, an electronic copy and an audio version.
  14. Finish something. Write down three things you must complete today, and complete them. If three is too many, write down one.
  15. Hang with people who get things done.
  16. Practice interval work. Work as hard as you can for 20, 30 or 40 minutes. Take a break. Come back, and work again. Short breaks enhance work.

Commitments are decisions made once. Commit to work.

What prevents leaders from doing the real work of leadership? What does believing in work mean to you?

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