Achievements: Brick by Brick

by Matthew on April 26, 2012

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but neither was it built by the mere passage of time.

One aspect of many corporate environments–and I noticed a similar thing in law school–is the concept of significant projects with deadlines out in the significant future. The waterfall software method (“we’ll release this sometime the first half of next year”) is but one example.

It can be hard to keep the big picture in view for long periods of time, and it can be equally challenging to just execute minuscule tasks without an idea of how it contributes to the whole.

I decided to take a few areas which are important to me and specifically carve some time out of my schedule to address them one step at a time, no matter how small that step is. First, I had to find some time.

This year, I’ve relentlessly whittled down the things I spend my time on. If something doesn’t give me great, obvious returns, I try to put it on low priority. As a result, I have spent far less hours simply surfing the Internet looking for good stuff to read. I also used to spend several hours a week blogging and I’ve intentionally cut that way back. Instead, I’ve been reading more printed books, spending more face-to-face time with people, doing physical activity like working in my yard, and I’ve actually begun P90X and am heading strong into the third week.

Each of these things contributes in some way to my big picture goal of being well rounded in life and making contact with real people whose problems I may be able to solve with a business venture. Several opportunities have presented themselves and I’m working on a handful of projects which will all be generating some income and waiting to see which prove most promising.

So, with this I would encourage you to first take an inventory of the things that matter to you. Then, force yourself to make time for incremental progress in each one, no matter how small the progress. On one of my P90X fitness sheets, I wrote “1” for the number of reps I could do for one of the exercises. On another, I wrote “0”. Those number will be significantly larger by the end of the 90 days. In the meantime, I’m just taking every day as it comes and doing the best I can. Just don’t stop taking each extra step, no matter how small.

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