“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” Benjamin Franklin
It makes sense.
You chip away at progress.
It isn’t just a sprinkle of magic that leads to a finished project.
It can feel like a little luck had something to do with it, but it’s always due to hard work that added up to achieve your goal.
It’s this progress that you see that helps you define your hard work. You can point to all the hours that you put in and understand why you did it.
Feeling productive is a human trait that is in 99% of us. We want to feel like we aren’t stuck in a loop doing the same crap every single day. We want progress.
Something from Nothing
So that means working on projects that are just an idea and seeing them come to life. Passion projects that light us up inside.
I remember when I worked on a project for six months to help us reach more young customers. Management kept stalling. We would meet and go back to the drawing board.
It wasn’t going to be a cheap campaign, but it done right we could really see a lot of growth over the next 2 – 4 years.
Most of the senior leaders wanted results in 6 – 9 months. We didn’t want to promise these results because it was our first time marketing to such a young group.
They eventually pulled the plug on the project and we kept on doing the same marketing we did the year before and the year before that.
I felt like I wasted 6 months of my life.
There was a lot of personal growth in that situation, but I didn’t see it for years after.
I stopped working as hard and coasted along.
I felt much more lethargic because I felt my progress at work had stalled.
I wished I worked somewhere else.
Some of the happiest people in the world are janitors. They are happy because their goal is clear. They walk into a dirty room, clean it and walk out happy.
Not as simple as you might believe.
There are a lot of janitors that are unhappy because they might feel like they want to do different kind of work. If they don’t believe that their time is well spent they will probably hate their work.
The janitors that are happy find it easier to be happy if they take the time to notice the progress that they make at work.
Focus on Outcomes
Many of you who work at large organizations don’t get to see the end results of your hard work. You hand it off to another department and you get to work on the next project. Sometimes you get an update, but it’s hard when you are busy with the next project.
That’s why it’s important to focus on the outcome of your hard work.
Great questions to ask yourself are:
- How has my work made a difference in other people’s lives? (Your company, the customers, other employees, etc.)
- How has my work contributed to my success?
- What could I have done better to improve on my next project?
Keeping track of your hard work and the outcomes will help you appreciate your progress as well as find things you could do to improve. It always comes back to finding ways to be a little more grateful to help improve your mindset. Click here to get the 5 Tools Top Professionals Use now to help grow your career.
I like to keep a journal to help me review what I’ve done over the day, week, month and year. The end of year review is my favorite because it’s my bird eye view to my progress.
Look at how you can keep track of your progress. Do you follow up with other departments asking for updates on the project you handed off? Do you keep a journal? Do you ask your boss for feedback on your work?
It’s up to you, but appreciating your progress is one of the quickest way to bring happiness into your career. The best part in tracking your progress is that you can put the project on your resume.