I seem to have been getting the same message from a few different places this week!
I’ve been reading ‘The One Thing’, a practical book about getting things done by focusing on one single task at a time. In order to work out which task we should be doing, authors Gary Keller and Jay Papasan suggest that we need to start by thinking big – good advice that you will hear in virtually every goal setting book and blog post out there.
What I like about their approach is how they go on to argue that we then need to start working on the smallest possible task that will move us towards our goal. I like this advice – one of the problems with setting big goals is that they can seem overwhelming. Break it down to the smallest possible thing you can do, and start there.
Gary Vaynerchuk frequently talks about this same idea in his podcasts, although he frames it slightly differently. He talks in terms of micro and macro. If you want to grow a huge Instagram following – the macro, then you need to start by posting some pictures – the micro.
If you’re not sure where to start – what action to take, I also picked up a nice little tip from Chris Guillebeau’s ‘Born For This’. The language we use when we talk to ourselves is really important, and Guillebeau’s advice is that instead of asking ourselves “what SHALL I do next?”, we should ask “what SHOULD I do next?” It’s a subtle shift, but one that could be really powerful.
Think big … act small.
What’s the smallest thing you should do right now that will move you towards your biggest goal?