Home > Uncategorized > The Corollary to “You Can’t Do It All At Once”

The Corollary to “You Can’t Do It All At Once”

A couple of blog posts back I noted that it was finally coming home to me that things worth accomplishing in life cannot be done by a single, sustained marathon of effort, but have to be done piecemeal over time instead. But recent events have made the other side of the coin shine more brightly in my eyes. This corollary, is every bit as important, but I seem to have overlooked it, because the impossibility of the marathon and the power of accumulated piecemeal efforts was such a significant revelation.

The corollary I speak of is the fact that piecemeal efforts add up only if they are made consistently. A large project can be broken down into millions of tiny jobs, tiny tasks, and tiny efforts, and spread over months or years, such that they require no more than a few minutes to an hour per day, but they are only completed within whatever time frame they are spread across by such short periods of exertion, if the piecemeal efforts are made on schedule, and not skipped or postponed until it requires a small marathon of burnout effort to make up the backlog.

The task from which I learned to appreciate the piecemeal approach is thankfully one I have been able to perform consistently, for the most part, and despite distractions, obstacles and setbacks. But I’m beginning to see how much I could be accomplishing in other areas if only I had applied the same consistency.

I’m beginning to learn that palaces, empires, businesses, fortunes, and the mastery of amazing skills, are all built more by consistency, even of small efforts, than by genius or prolonged periods of work. And perhaps consistency is the more difficult side of the coin to master. Because you can hardly begin to see the results of a huge task broken into short tasks distributed thorough time without it. But once you have consistency, it becomes possible to see how a road can be made from cobblestones, or a great pyramid from many blocks placed one by one, how enormous novels and series of novels can all be written one word at a time.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 23, 2015 at 4:11 pm

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