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Things that Get Done Get Done in Chunks

Tackle life on a three-year plan for best results
Grumpy guy with stuff to do.
Grumpy guy with stuff to do.

When you think about the things you hope to accomplish, you've got to give yourself a little breathing room. I like to think in terms of three years--1095 days, at least when it's not a leap year--because it seems like a bit of a play on "1001 Nights," a play on the notion that you earn your survival one day at a time, by the simple act of producing a manageable output each and every day. You break things down into small chunks and over time they add up. You break things down to chunks of a size that you might as well do as face yourself tomorrow for not having done them--and then create a streak of doing those chunks.

Not everything leds itself to this accretion approach, but honestly, damn nearly everything does. You can write a book this way, build a house with your own hands this way, hike the Appalachian Trail, learn Arabic, and so on. And yeah, sure, it isn't solely the "practice, practice, practice" that gets you to Carnegie Hall, but that daily routine is absolutely required to get you in the running. For building a worthy, accomplished life, a few steps every day will get you pretty well near anyplace you want to go.

There are just two tricks to this:

1) Breaking things down according to a plan that's sufficiently detailed to make sure you get where you're trying to go.

2) Finding the discipline and daily structure to get long strings of the daily tasks lined up in a row.

Robert Richardson is the principle nomad here at the Mode.
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