You Don’t Work

A couple years ago I read an interesting productivity book called “The Twelve Week Year.”

There were several good nuggets in the book, but the one I want to talk to you about today was execution tracking.

A key part of the process the authors describe in their book is ongoing calculation of your execution rate: what actions you committed to taking versus the actions you actually took.

You actually have to express it as a percentage.

For example, if you committed to working on Project A for 5 hours last week and your actual time spent was 3 hours, then your execution rate was 60%.

The authors went on to say that in their observation, one of the highest indicators of future success and breakthrough is being able to sustain an execution rate of 80% of greater.

So often we tell ourselves our plan isn’t working, when in fact, WE aren’t working.


We don’t execute the plan consistently enough to prove the concept.

We don’t follow through on the plan far enough to reach pivot point.

We encounter problems of execution and misconstrue them as problems of efficacy.

Is your plan flimsy and imperfect and in need of upgrade? Almost certainly.

But when you under-execute in order to protect your ego and shield yourself from uncertain outcome, you never give the plan a chance to evolve.

Great plans are made, not born.

Instead of waiting for the “perfect plan” to fall into your lap, take that good enough 60% plan in front of you and execute it 100%.

Execution trumps efficacy… so long as you update your plan with the real-world findings that can only be uncovered through execution.

So this week, put together a “good enough” action plan for the juiciest project on your bucket list, and commit to executing that plan 100% for the next 7 days.

Keep it simple. Keep it modest. Eat that whale one bite at a time.

If you want to write a book, maybe your “good enough” action plan is to spend 30 minutes per day on the outline for the next 7 days. Work that plan with 100% faithful execution.

If your goal is to raise capital, maybe your “good enough” action plan is to phone three prospective investors each day for the next 5 business days. Work that plan with 100% faithful execution.

Will your action plan in its current form get you to your goal?

Probably not.

But it WILL give you the momentum and learning you need to tweak as you go, and ultimately bring you to the finish line.

Now go forth and execute.

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