How To Accomplish Big Things

TLDR: break them down into small things.

Seriously, though, if you only remember the line above from this article, it will be enough. The most effective way to accomplish something that we perceive as “big”, or “enduring”, or “difficult”, or “spectacular”, is to break it down into smaller, manageable tasks.

As I write this, there are 98 days left until the end of the year. And 267 days already passed. We’re 78% into 2021. Only 22% left.

Now, for the last 267 days, I’ve been publishing an article each day on this blog. Some days were better than others, I admit. And some articles were better than others.

But I published every day.

My point is that a year long strike of daily publishing is achieved one day at a time.

When you look at it from the outside, publishing every day for a year seems like a huge undertaking. And, in many ways, it is. A monolithic approach of it would have required thorough planning and a lot of energy consumed in advance.

An elastic approach, the one that I used, required just showing up each day, for half an hour, or an hour. If, during some days, I could spend more than one hour, even better, I scheduled some articles in advance, freeing time from the coming days. But it was mostly a daily chore.

In, and by itself, this chore was anything but spectacular. I could have just as well choose to vacuum my apartment every day. It’s the same approach. Just get up, and get to the task at hand.

But these daily, boring chores, they add up. They are like the small, meaningless Lego pieces that you assemble together, patiently, until something really spectacular comes up. The end result is beautiful. But if you break it down, piece by piece, you will find just small, meaningless Lego bricks assembled patiently, each one fitting into the previous one.

Now, I know my writing challenge is not over yet. 98 days is still a huge amount of time, that means still 98 articles to go. But I can engage into writing them way easier, and more confident than at the beginning, knowing that all I have to do is to get up, get to the task at hand, every day.

So, back to the beginning of the article: you achieve great things by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable things.

Sorry if you were waiting for something more complex, some complicated formula, an expensive course maybe, some training in an exotic retreat, for which you would have to shell out ridiculous amounts of money. I’m not saying this won’t help you. If that’s what it takes for you to understand such a simple thing, then by all means, go all in, spend a ton of money with famous gurus and come up on the other side completely transformed.

But, at the end of it, you will come up with the same understanding.

Big things are all made up of small, patiently crafted little things, all fitting together, like Lego pieces.

Photo by Glen Carrie on Unsplash

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