I’ve been obsessed by the concept of “small boxes” for a while. I once did a video podcast about them. The concept is simple: everything seems to big if we look at it as a whole. Instead, we have to break things into small boxes and work from that size. When I used to mow the lawn for my dad, I’d do it that way, too. Cut the lawn in half, and then in half again. (Okay, people who actually like mowing lawns, yes, I know it looked cruddy that way because of the lines, but shush.)
Cut the Box In Half- The Works
As part of the Human Business Way, The Works refers to business basics and the discipline to execute on them. When we’re faced with a lot to accomplish, it freezes us up. It’s hard to learn to love the grind if everything feels overwhelming. Look for ways to cut the box in half, and maybe half again.
Let’s say your goal is to raise revenue by $120,000 a year. If you’re selling something small, that number looks huge. But instead, do this:
$120,000 / year
$10,000 / month
$500 / day (weekdays)
The goal becomes reaching $500 a day in revenue. See how less daunting that is? Still a challenging accomplishment for lots of us, but seeing that number $500 is a lot easier than looking at $120,000 or even $10,000. Right?
This applies to everything. Need to lose 30 pounds? That’s a lot. But at 1 pound a week, you’ll be done in about 9 or so months. Right? Easy cheesy. Losing a pound a week might just be skipping cream and sugar in your coffee. It’s a much smaller box than looking at that 30.
It Still Requires Discipline
A draft of a second edition of one of my books is due tomorrow. I had a real hard time turning it in, even though I know how to do the small boxes method to accomplish goals. Even knowing that I only had a handful of words to write a day, I skipped and procrastinated and then pushed myself into a cram situation. There’s no excuse. It’s strictly because I didn’t hold to my discipline. I got it done the hard way instead.
But even that, if used right, is helpful. Reminding myself how much the hard way stinks, I work harder at doing it right next time. And that gives me strength to do the discipline of small boxes.
Cut your work into small boxes and you’ll see success faster. Plus, the more you click off those little wins, the more you feel like you’re making progress, and this fuels your motivation to get the job done.
You with me? Are we in this together?