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Process vs. product. Behavior vs. Outcome.

I ran across the idea of using an analog task list (plus more) system called Bullet Journal this past week. I love making lists and have long-wondered about the relationship between writing something with pen and paper and it’s impact on our neurosystem. It definitely seems that things ‘stick’ more with me when I’ve written them down the old fashioned way rather than typed them into a computer.

As I continued to do research on the method there were lots of posts out there about the pros and cons of this particular system. I realized that there’s an ongoing theme often of process vs. product; behavior vs. outcome. Do we focus on our process? Or on the final product? On the behavior or the outcome? In our highly-distracted environments, I’m leaning towards the behaviors and the processes as that’s what I can control anyway.

I just finished the book Daily Rituals (talk about distracted- I think I started it months ago.) In the book, the routines of highly creative people (across fields and centuries -from Einstein to Maya Angelou to Benjamin Franklin) are documented in usually just a few pages per person. Many of them worked a set time every day (mostly in the morning). A very few of them worked in frenzied period and then took rests. Most worked in the morning for up to about 4 hours with some returning again in the afternoon. Some of them had outcome targets (1000 words for example or 2 pages but still focused on something they can control rather than produce a best-seller for example). My take away again was on process or behaviors rather than on the outcomes.

How do you pay attention to your processes? Do you set process goals? I’m going to hit my goal of going to 4 networking events this month (averaging one/week). How about you? What were your process or behavior goals? How are you doing?