The 20-mile march is a reference to a story told by Jim Collins in his book, “Great by Choice.” In this true story from 1911, there were two teams who raced 1,400 miles to be the first to reach the South Pole. The winning team, led by Roald Amundsen, made a daily goal of going 15 to 20 miles per day – no more, no less. It’s sort of like the tortoise and the hare – slow and steady wins the race.
In the end, Amundsen’s team won the race and made it back to their home base alive and well. The other team all perished from using more intense and risky methods.
I bring this story up for two reasons.
First, I have had to learn to live my life in this manner recognizing that though I may feel like I’m going too slowly, a steady forward pace will get me ahead in life more successfully rather than big bursts of activity followed by crashes of burnout.
Secondly, I recently watched a video “article” by Derek Halpern, of whom I am an avid fan, in which he spoke about focusing on one thing at a time, and taking small bites of it to move yourself forward. He cited a book called, “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, in the accompanying article to the video. I am now reading that book, and recognizing that I need this approach to my business.
I have found myself going from one task to another to another – not actually finishing any of them. Just in a panic because EVERYTHING seems to be the next important thing – from web projects, to bookkeeping, to planning for changes and growth for my business. I need to focus on one thing and turn off the noise of all the other “things” around me.
I hope you will follow me through my path and process as I learn to grow my life and business with these tenets. I also hope you can relate to me with your own struggles and issues, and perhaps we can grow together.
Please leave a comment below about your struggle with task organization or what works for you to stay on task.
2 thoughts on “The 20-Mile March: Small Accomplishments Lead to Big Rewards”
Great article, Cathy! It is difficult to stay on task when there are so many things that need to get done! I am looking forward to reading your next post!
Hi Jeanne! Thanks for reading. Yes, it’s hard knowing that so many tasks need to get done, but still addressing the ONE thing that will move you forward. We’ll see how it goes.