A very organised friend of mine shared this little pearl of wisdom some years ago. “I like to do things little and often – that way they get done, don’t take over my life and I stay on top of stuff.”
Whether it is at home, in the garden or at work with any given project you might like to name, most things in life will manage themselves if you do them “little and often”.
Take the garden – if you spend time “little and often” weeding the weeds do not get out of control and will not take over the garden. If you ignore the “little and often” rule you may well end up with not just the garden being inundated with weeds, but more angst, time, energy and potentially expense in getting them under control. And that principle operates in most walks of life.
Now this may seem glaringly obvious – but sometimes more difficult to adopt than you might imagine. It takes discipline – another job on the To Do List – and a host of other reasons, or possible excuses why it is not worth doing something little and often. Normally around the “hate doing it excuse”.
Think about it. If you do stuff little and often stuff – whatever that stuff is, it never gets to the point where you can’t find anything, or more likely, that you can’t find the particular thing that you desperately need to find. If you take the example of doing your expenses the longer you leave them to do, the more of a mission it becomes. And generally if you are anything like me, it will mean that receipts that you think you have copiously filed safely have disappeared never to surface again.
The knock on effect of this means that you end up spending a lot more time sorting out something which if you had been more disciplined and done more regularly e.g. little and often, would have taken a fraction of the time.
This “little and often rule”, is also a good mantra to say when your time is short. It helps you prioritise the things which are not urgent yet, but will need a little attention soon. Setting an example with family and work colleagues with the “little and often” rule will also help with everything from keeping bedrooms tidy to filing, accounts and keeping claiming expenses under control.
The other pay off from this is that it becomes a bit of a habit and helps to motivate you and others around you, to do the things they generally don’t like doing little and often.
So remember to adopt the “Little and Often ” rule.