When the answer is – think small | Inge Dowden Coaching

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When the answer is – think small

We’re often told to think big. But sometimes, the answer lies in thinking small…

For the last three years, I’ve been waiting for a good time to write my book and managed to write about 20,000 words in that time. Then a little while ago I went on a book writing course – and hey, I wrote 18,000 words in three weeks and have just finished my first draft!

The secret was simple: write 500 words every day, and be accountable to someone (for me, my Facebook writing group).

And even though I’d heard that in different ways before, it was some of the best advice I’ve had. It got me thinking that you can apply this to any task that doesn’t have a deadline. Because let’s face it, the deadline stuff always gets done anyway. So if you have a big task you want to get done, see if you can incorporate the following three principles:

Small steps
Break the big task or goal down into very small, achievable steps.

Daily routine
The steps should be so small that they can fit into a daily routine, even if you are very busy with lots of other things. You’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.
When I went on holiday for a few days, I didn’t manage to write and thought it would be easy to catch up. But writing 4,000 words was so much harder than I thought, and I wished I’d kept up with my 500 words a day.

Build in accountability to someone or a group (I posted to my Facebook group, but any kind of accountability is good – such as checking in with your business coach!)

There’s never a good time to deal with the non-urgent, large jobs – but break it down to tiny, manageable steps, and the work gets done.

Take, for example, a business database with 1,000 contacts and say you want to cleanse it and just get a good list of 100 people to call.

If you’re on your own and not outsourcing, that’s a big job on top of your normal work, and probably falls into the “one day when I have time” category.

That perfect time never arrives, but if you just did 20 records a day, within ten weeks you would reach your goal. Then break down your 100 calls into just two a day – and you’ll be amazed at the success you will get from just taking those small steps. It may seem like it takes a long time, but small steps taken, are more effective than large steps not taken.

I know I was thrilled with my progress. My book is called The Happy Worker – How To Find The Job You Love, and Love The Job You Have and I will tell you about it quite soon. In the meantime, I’ve got to start editing that first draft, a little bit every day…

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