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How to Achieve Big Results by Going Small

An unconventional approach to productivity


“The way to get the most out of your work and your life is to go as small as possible. Most people think just the opposite. They think big success is time consuming and complicated. As a result, their calendars and to-do lists become overloaded and overwhelming.” -Gary Keller

Success is not taunting, nor complicated. Rather, success is a matter of going small and repeatably doing only that which is most important.

Said motivational speaker, Jim Rohn,

“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”

Somewhere along the way, this has been misconstrued and forgotten.

The idea of “the hustle,” 90-hour work weeks, and optimizing every minute of your day have been pushed and pushed as the only way to achieve extraordinary results.

But truth is, to get big results, you first have to go small.

Here’s why.


Being “Busy” Is Not the Same as Being Productive

“Don’t focus on being busy; focus on being productive. Allow what matters most to drive your day.” -Gary Keller

The world as a whole now confuses “busyness” with achievement. To many, it has become a belief that the more you do in a day, then the more successful you must be. Right?

Wrong. Being “busy” doesn’t guarantee success. You can do a lot in a day, but if your activities don’t align with a common goal, you’ll end up getting nowhere.

Wrote Benjamin P. Hardy,

“Success isn’t that difficult; it merely involves taking twenty steps in a singular direction. Most people take one step in twenty directions.”

Taking one step in twenty directions is a sign you’re not clear on what you want to achieve with your time on this planet. When you don’t know where you’re going, everything can begin to feel urgent and important.

When everything feels urgent and important, you end up getting pulled in every direction and wind up doing figure 8’s — which never actually moves any closer to success.

The key to productivity then is to work out what’s most important to you and focus on the areas which you’d like to achieve the most success. Make everything else irrelevant and allow what matters most to drive your day.

You can then start living by priority, rather than being in a constant state of reactivity, and you’ll achieve a whole lot more.

Consistency Will Take You Farther than Infrequent Home Runs

“Tiny steps will take you much farther than infrequent home runs.” -Niklas Geo

Many people are trying to build Rome in a single day. They work hard for a day, or maybe even a week, but when they don’t see all the results at once; they quit.

Why? Because they’re missing the important fact; that to get big results, you first have to go small.

In a popular article, James Clear notes,

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, but they were laying bricks every hour.”

While laying a single brick can seem unimportant when constructing a great empire. It’s the small compounding of placing each brick that leads to the desired result.

And the same is true for achieving any success in life. While you’re not going to build your empire in a day, it’s important to lay a brick each day.

When you work towards something day in and day out — even if only for a short span of 15 minutes, the consistency will quickly lead to momentum.

With consistency and momentum, you’ll develop a habit. With a habit, you’ll no longer have to exert willpower, rather, doing what you know you should do will be automatic and you’ll be pulled along while achieving more success.

Wrote Gary Keller in his book, The One Thing,

“Success is actually a short race — a sprint fueled by discipline just long enough for habit to kick in and take over.”

In Conclusion

Often, achieving more isn’t about doing more; but being more focused.

“Busyness” is a choice. A choice made you don’t put first things first.

What is most important to you?
In which areas do you want to achieve the most success?

Consistency is going to get you there a whole lot quicker than infrequent home runs.

Rome was not built in a day, and nor is success. Rather, they are each built by consistently and repeatably laying one brick at a time.

How can you lay one brick today?