In my last post, I talked about the value of creating systems over goals (check it out here).
This post piggybacks off that idea and explains how setting systems over goals offered a paradigm shift in the way I view certain tasks. Particularly, non-monetary tasks.
As a recent graduate working to start my own business, one thought consumes a lot of my mental energy. Am I going to be able to make enough money to support myself? With this pervasive concern, most of my time is devoted to tasks that have the potential to be lucrative. I use the word “potential” because most endeavors are not immediately lucrative and it often takes time for new businesses to generate consistent revenue. So while my efforts don’t typically bring about immediate results, I recognize that I am laying the foundation for something bigger.
Networking, web design, and research are prime examples of tasks that don’t immediately generate income, but act as a foundation for future income.
Many potentially lucrative tasks are fairly obvious. But what about devoting time to things that don’t promise immediate returns, or even future returns? This blog for instance.
TWBA and Other Non-Lucrative Tasks
I’ve gone back and forth with my goals for Today Will Be Amazing. Maybe I wanted to reach a certain number of subscribers or create a brand I could later market. Maybe I wanted it to eventually lead to a podcast, YouTube channel, or book. I had a lot of ideas. I went back and forth with the notion of implementing a writing and posting schedule, but when it came down to it, I didn’t feel like I had the time to devote to something that seemed, well, kinda pointless.
It actually takes a decent amount of time to write a blog post worth publishing. And it’s not uncommon for me to spend hours working on a post that I later end up scrapping. I also have to be realistic. Focusing on my blog is certainly not the most fruitful endeavor I could pursue. My time would likely yield far better monetary results if I spent it on growing my marketing business.
And yet…for some reason I always come back to TWBA. I actually started it five years ago as a senior in high school—as naive 17-year old Kristi with a vision of changing the world one politically charged post at a time. And although I’ve never posted consistently for longer than a month or so, I keep coming back with new ideas and ambitions and goals, only to eventually sigh and admit that writing these types of posts probably isn’t worth my time.
What’s worth my time?
And if my time is valued by the amount of money I make (or have the potential to make), then no, TWBA isn’t worth my time. But this is where systems come into play. Every goal I’ve ever tried to set for TWBA has left me feeling defeated and viewing my blog as a waste of time. But when I consider my life as a set of systems, TWBA actually plays an integral role.
My version of success involves writing. Whether it’s for a future book, content for my clients, or TWBA, it will always be a part of my life (like I’ve said before, it’s in my blood). While goal-oriented me would look at TWBA as a poor choice when it comes to achieving financial goals, systems-oriented me looks at writing as a part of the bigger picture.
Writing improves my creativity, thought processes, grammatical and editorial skills, analytical reasoning, and more. It excites and inspires me. As a part of a system, writing plays a key role in my overall thought development and happiness. Isn’t that reason enough to pursue it? And just like the naive 17-year-old Kristi, the slightly-less-naive 22-year-old Kristi still has a desire to make the world a better place, one post at a time. And maybe this is misguided, but I actually believe that at some point, perhaps far in the future, TWBA will touch someone’s life.
There may come a time when my system changes and writing takes a different look, but for now, I’m content.
What’s your system?
Maybe you’re like me and struggle to pursue things that don’t bring about immediate results or aren’t obviously linked to your financial goals. But consider looking at your life as a series of systems designed to guide you. What makes you a better person, sparks joy, creates ambition and excitement, and encourages skill development? The answer may surprise you.
Have an amazing, systems-oriented day.