Enjoy Big Difference from 7 Delightfully Small Things
High achievers push themselves. One of the joys of life is small things that make a big difference.
Small, simple, and attainable is better than dramatic, complicated, and out of reach.
Arrogance scoffs at small things. Be humble enough to embrace the power of small things to make a big difference.
7 Small Things That Make a Big Difference
#1. Shorten 60-minutes to 50-minutes.
Make back-to-back meetings a sin against humanity!
Using the restroom and getting a drink are normal and necessary. They shouldn’t be rushed.
Take three minutes before your next meeting to breathe, admire the people in the meeting, and choose how you show up.
#2. Release tension.
I clench my butt cheeks when I’m sitting at my desk, and shoulders, neck, and legs. No one is around. I’m just clenching. Several times a day I release tension in my body.
Take a few breaths, release the tension, and carry on.
Notice tension comes back quickly. Let it go again.
#3. Forget what’s next.
You can’t focus on this thing when you’re thinking about the next thing.
Being present boils down to paying attention to what you’re doing now.
Mindfulness is doing one thing at a time.
#4. Create short to-do lists.
Create a to-do list you can complete today!
Distill long-term projects into steps you can complete today.
It’s dumb to create a million dripping faucets. Finish stuff.
#5. Go to bed.
Rest is good. Even God rested.
#6. Stop before exhaustion sets in.
End your day feeling good, not exhausted. Fatigue sucks joy from life.
Work hard. Take breaks. Go home and enjoy life.
#7. Like people.
Don’t be so consumed with fixing people that you end up disliking them.
Small things make a big difference when they’re done persistently and skillfully.
Which small thing on the above list has made a big difference for you?
What small things have made a big difference for you?
“End your day feeling good.” I have recently realised that doing some physical and digital filing at the end of the day makes me finish feeling good. I also try to reflect on my “wins and lessons” for the day. Sometimes I even jot them down.
Thanks Sarah. It’s important to find small things that work for you. It seems like you’ve done that. I appreciate you adding to the conversation today.
Several of my colleagues have also shared their end-of-day practice of reflecting on the wins and lessons for the day. I’ve not successfully added that practice to my day, but your post is a great reminder for me. Thanks for contributing to the conversation!
“Forget what’s next” is a good reminder for me. “Like people… don’t try to fix people” is profound and positively affects the entire team in a very deep way – have experienced this and my vote is always for this.
I like #3. Forget what’s next–focus on the present moment.
Thanks Paul. I’m delighted you enjoy that one. I find that thinking about what’s next is the reason I miss life.
Thanks Dan: Great reminder to focus on how important little things are They may be little but they leave a big impression.
Thanks Vincent. It’s easy to get seduce by big, glamorous, and dramatic. 🙂
I have taken to writing my to-do list on small Post-It notes (1″ x 2″ size). I then have three stacks, so at any moment I have three things on my to-do list. I can re-prioritize if I need to. And at the end of the day, I have a stack of Post-It notes of all my completed tasks. Tossing those in the recycling bin ends my day on an upbeat.
I do the same thing, Jennifer, I stick them to the bottom of my monitor. I love peeling them off and pitching them into the bin. Having nothing stuck there at the end of the day is so satisfying! The little things really can bring joy.
Great post, Dan. I remind my Team to try not to schedule back to back to back meetings. Make sure you schedule that all important in-between time to show up positive, mindful and present for all of your interactions.
Thanks Tom. It seems to take some courage to release people from the hurry of back-to-back meetings. Sometimes rushing around makes us important.
Post-it notes are an amazing tool :). on the monitor I have 1 or 2 with general reminders – currently “Give Gratitude, focus on 80% good, appreciate abundance”.
I use a physical Kanban (whiteboards + draw the todo/doing/done columns + post-it notes moving across the columns) in my home office as my master task list. That allows me to commit any to-dos or new ideas from my memory to a written down post-it note on the board – very freeing :). I also use “swim lanes” to group themes like health, family, house, garage project (temporary lane), finances, etc. … . Good thing about whiteboard and post-it notes: easy to rename, redraw, move around :).
At the end of the week I count the ‘done’ tasks, enter that in a spreadsheet for tracking – and yes: also crumple and throw away – which is very satisfying for some reason: a physical evidence of week’s progress :).
Thanks Daniel. That’s brilliant! Tracking progress is a way to fuel the tank. If all we do is rush from one thing to the next life is an exhausting blur.
You wrote, “…on the monitor I have 1 or 2 with general reminders – currently “Give Gratitude, focus on 80% good, appreciate abundance.”
I quickly forget what matters! Love focus on 80% good!
Thanks Jennifer. That’s a wonderful practice. I love toss them in the recycle bin. There’s something freeing about throwing things away.
I love #1 and try to schedule meetings on the half hour mark, as others always aim for ‘on the hour’. If it goes well I get a 30 min buffer!
Also I have wonderful work friends who I like and remind me to breathe!
Thanks Will. I so appreciate your reference to friends. We go further together. It’s limiting to go alone.
Great insight on using the 1/2 hour mark.
Oh so many pearls of wisdom in this one. I expect this post to make it to your “top N” of the year :).
My favorite above today: a new (to me) definition of `mindfulness`:
> Mindfulness is doing one thing at a time.
Thank you Dan – this post helped me start my day with a smile!
Thank you Daniel. Your encouraging comment gives me hope that I might actually have something to offer. 🙂
Like people is my choice. Thank you Dan