Vincent van Gogh is quoted as saying: “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” This quote highlights the idea that even the smallest actions or details can contribute to the creation of something significant. Focusing on and taking care of the small things can achieve big results over time.
Essentially, this is about being productive. In the moment, we might think that it’s just a small action or an insignificant choice, but they all add up. Productivity has a direct impact on our health, time and money. By being productive and efficient, we can complete tasks faster, produce more work, and increase the value we create and enjoy in life.
Those of us who are productive and manage our time well are more likely to be able to save money, manage our stress better, and make healthier life and financial decisions.
One of the first ways to prioritise the important ‘small things’ is to avoid multitasking. Multitasking is often seen as a way to increase efficiency and productivity, but in reality, it can have the opposite effect.
When we multitask, we divide our attention between multiple tasks, leading to decreased focus and lower quality of work. And, switching between tasks generally creates more stress and mental fatigue, but it’s incremental, so we don’t always notice it at the time. After a few hours of multitasking, we may simply feel frustrated but not really know why because we’ve felt busy, but haven’t been productive.
It’s better to focus on one task at a time, giving it the necessary attention and effort to complete it effectively before moving on to the next task. This can lead to improved concentration, higher-quality work, and overall greater productivity.
Here are some practical ideas to try out:
- Identify your goals and priorities: Determine what is most important to you and what you want to achieve.
- Make a to-do list: Write down all the tasks that need to be done and prioritise them based on their importance and urgency.
- Use the 80/20 rule: Focus on the 20% of tasks that will produce 80% of the results.
- Avoid distractions: Eliminate distractions such as emails, social media, and unimportant tasks to focus on what is truly important.
- Take breaks: Regular breaks can help increase productivity and avoid burnout.
- Review and adjust regularly: Review your priorities and to-do list, and adjust as needed based on new information and developments.
Remember, consistency and attention to detail in small tasks can lead to significant outcomes. Focusing on the small details and consistently working towards our goals can achieve great results over time, leading to big payoffs in the end.