“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
So many opportunities are often missed simply because we give up too quickly when things seem difficult. You have to understand that big things happen one step at a time. They piece together from smaller things to create the greater thing. When you work toward something great you have to keep pressing, keep working on it. You must be diligent. You have to put all the pieces together one piece at a time. You can’t expect everything to happen in an instant, and things always look far more difficult when you view them in the full complexity as a whole rather than the individual parts. Great things take time to accomplish due to their complexity.
This may sound like a curse at first. We all want success at our endeavors as quickly as possible. We are excited, and anxious about the future. This fact of life actually has a very great benefit though: It makes everything more manageable. If you focus on each individual step, each piece, then the bigger things seem less daunting. It also allows you to put your maximum effort into each piece of the puzzle and give it the attention to detail it deserves. If you broaden your efforts too wide and try to do it all at once then you will be sloppy. You can only spread yourself so thin before you become ineffective at what you are doing.
Take a deep breath.
Think of what needs to be done. Now think of each step to get there. Decide what things need to be done first as the framework for your goal in mind. Start there. Pick priority one and devote yourself to it. When you finish that task, and it is ready, proceed to the next, and so forth. This is efficiency. You can apply this to anything.
We overcomplicate things.
It is really very simple but we often cave under the pressure to get things done as quickly as possible and try to bite off more than we can chew at once. All that happens when you do that is you choke. You get more accomplished when you don’t try to do too much at once. If you find yourself feeling like you just aren’t getting things done, and you feel like you are always behind and trying to catch up it may be a good time to stop and reflect. Analyze what you have going on and see what you can back off on. See what can wait and focus on what needs done right now, and tackle your list one thing at a time until its complete.
Block off your time.
Give yourself a period of time for a task, and devote yourself to only that task during that time. Decide: I am going to do THIS at this time, and I’m not going to start anything else until I finish it. Make sure to give yourself an appropriate amount of time for the task. Be realistic but don’t be too lenient either. A little bit of pressure while focusing on one thing can really spark productivity, too little and you won’t feel as compelled to get it done, and too much can be discouraging and make you want to quit. Find the balance and get it done.
Making a plan of action of smaller tasks to reach your goal, simplifying things in a way that makes sense and applying your focus to each, and managing your time spent completing each task makes larger goals easier to meet. If you’ve been feeling unproductive, or discouraged with your progress toward what you want today, give this method a try.
- Nathan Kendrick