“It’s better to do a little a lot than a lot a little”
Little Big Man
The other day, I was in the park with my dog, Ryder, watching him chew a stick — one of those weird things that some dogs just love to do. The stick was long and thick and I wondered how Ryder was going to tackle it. Here’s what he did: he bit off one small chunk and chewed it with gusto. Then he bit off another and then another. By and by, he’d chewed that big stick down to half its size.
Watching Ryder reminded me of the quote above. In all honesty, these 13 words have transformed my work life. They’re from a long-time caller of my friend Rob Gilbert’s Success Hotline (973.743.4690). Ever since I heard them, I’ve been applying this concept to my creative projects.
I used to be an “a lot a little” gal when it came to my writing. I’d get into a lather about something I was working on and throw myself into it intensely for a while — and then let it drift away until I had another fit of inspiration. In short, I’d work on something “a lot” but only from time to time — intensely, but erratically.
While the results often had some promise, I never built any momentum. I’d often find myself discouraged because things were half finished. Then I heard Rob say, “It’s better to do a little a lot than a lot a little.” I decided to try this strategy. First, I used the concept to clean up a small room in my house by tackling it just half an hour a day for a week. By the end of the week, it was all cleared out.
Emboldened, I started devoting two hours a day to working on my book, Birthing the Elephant, while continuing to do my freelance work. After eight months of working steadily day after day, the book was completed and I was a total convert. I’ve continued to transform my writing approach from haphazard to habitual. It’s been very liberating creatively. If building momentum is an issue for you, why not try this approach out?