Which of the habits that you’ve adopted has done the most to improve your life?

bare minimum

Answer by Carlos Matias La Borde:

Doing the bare minimum.

What do I mean by this? I used to think that I was just a procrastinator. I would look at some people who seemed to have endless willpower or built up habits and justify myself by saying that I "just didn't have it". I would push things off again and again because they seemed like so much work. Then I discovered just doing the minimum.

Whenever I'm feeling lazy and need to do something, I just do the bare minimum. That's all you need. If I want to improve in an area but I don't feel like it, I at least do a tiny bit.

If I want to workout, I make myself just do a few reps of an easy work out. Just ten ups and downs to crank out some push ups.

If I need to do some work on a project and I don't know what to do next, I force myself to get in there and at least have a look, and do one thing. How hard is that?

If I'm tired and don't want to get out of bed, I make myself just push back the edge of the covers. Just a little bit. Just lean a little bit over there, next thing you know I'm out and heading to the shower.

What happens when you do this is one of two things:

  • Much of the time just doing the bare minimum gives you momentum. Once you start you find the rest practically doing yourself and you get invested in it, next thing you know you've accomplished a lot
  • Or, you really just do the bare minimum. In which case you've just put one foot in front of the other. Each step is still progress. Even if you just write a couple lines of code today, you've moved forward, and you've maintained macro momentum by being consistent day after day that will make it easier tomorrow.

You'll get much farther much faster just walking very slowly than by stopping. Just don't stop.

Which of the habits that you've adopted has done the most to improve your life?


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