Attack The Small Stuff Now

“Among the maxims on Lord Naoshige’s wall there was this one: ‘Matters of great concern should be treated lightly.’ Master Ittei commented, ‘Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.” -Excerpt from Hakagure, The Book Of The Samurai by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Translated by William Scott Wilson

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” —St. Francis of Assisi.

“Act without doing;
Work without effort.
Think of the small as large
And the few as many.
Confront the difficult
While it is still easy;
Accomplish a great task
By a series of small acts.

The Master never reaches for the great;
Thus she achieves greatness.
When she runs into a difficulty, she stops and gives herself to it.
She doesn’t cling to her own comfort;
Thus problems are no problems for her.” -Verse 63 of The Teo Te Ching by Lao-Tzu, Translated by Stephen Mitchell

The greatest tool is your producer toolkit is the work plan. It reduces any production, no matter how ambitious, to a series of small, actionable steps with a set deadline. You can actually use this tool for any goal or most problems. Before fear and procrastination set in, get out a pen and paper (or spreadsheet) and start listing all the things you could and should do. Be very granular. Break tasks into micro tasks. Set realistic deadlines. And then do one, small thing.

You’ll feel great and have momentum on your side.

And then do it again.

And again.

And again.

Before you know it, you’ll be doing the “impossible.”

Oh, and if the thought of doing this is too much work, then you should ask yourself if the goal or problem is really that big or important after all.

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