2019 Simplified: Your Ultimate Path to Working Smarter

March 11, 2019

by Bill Jensen

Three steps. That’s all it takes. The power of three words within those steps — all you need to super-simplify your year.


January, 2022: What Impact Do You Wish to Have?

You don’t have to be on your deathbed to consider your legacy — the impact you wish to have on everyone who is touched by your work. With today’s rate of change, three years from now is long-term planning!

What do I want my legacy to be?

In just one word or a short phrase: What’s the impact you wish to have on people three years from now? Write that down. In a moment, you’ll be combining your word/phrase with Step 2.

In one word, my legacy by 2022 will be ...


2019 In Just Three Words

Now simplify your 2019 down to just three words. If that’s not easy for you, I’d suggest going here or here — two sources with lots of aspirational words to get you started.

(This idea is inspired by super-smart superhero Chris Brogan. Here are his three words for 2018, how he got there, and he explains the depth of meaning behind each word.)

My three words for 2019

Once you’ve selected your three words, that is your super-simplified definition of success for 2019.

For example, mine for 2019 are Thrive. Grit. Reimagine. …Thrive because I went through some severe difficulties in 2018, and I realized, on some things, I was just surviving. This year my goal is to Thrive. … Grit for what it’s going to take to Thrive … Reimagine is for completely rethinking how I do many things. (Similar to last year, but updated.)


Now, Take the Ultimate Path for Working Smarter

The ultimate path is when you tie together your longer-term impact goals (2022 legacy) with your simplified 2019, and then check how you’re doing on those every month.

The ultimate path to working smarter

Simplifying your path to working smarter is not about the latest app or newest shiny object. It’s about you deeply understanding who you are, the impact you wish to have on the world, reducing all that to just a few key words as aspirations and goals.


And, one of the disciplines it’s going to take to get there: Moving from FOMO (fear of missing out) to JOMO (the joy of missing out). Put down the phone more. Unplug from the latest app. Take someone out for coffee, or just give them a hug, and be present. Truly present. Being present is the present you give yourself and others in the present, for the future.

Bill Jensen has spent the past 30 years studying how work gets done and helps companies and teams double their productivity and pursue their passions. He is an internationally-acclaimed thought leader who is known for extremely useful content, with a passion for making it easier for everyone to work smarter, not harder. He is an IBM Futurist, and has conducted high-impact future of work research for multiple technology giants. Bill has written eight best-selling business books, all focused on helping you do and be your best. His first book, Simplicity, was the Number 5 Leadership/ Management book on Amazon in 2000. His latest book, Future Strong, maps the tough choices each of us make to create our best futures. He is also CEO of The Jensen Group.