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Small, super-effective solutions for busy Big thinkers (Pt 1)

Do you consider yourself a “big thinker”? Big ideas? Big ambition? Big workload??

I consider myself to be very lucky to have several “big thinkers” as clients in a variety of different industries.

Each is very,very good at what they do. Yet they hunger to get better and want to improve their skills and they want sessions or programs to improve their writing or presenting or productivity.

Their challenge is: they are also super-busy and often have “more urgent” tasks take up all their time and de-rail their improvement plans.

From my experience working with and helping Big thinkers:
1. they often over-commit
2. they often move on to the next BIG idea or project. They get plenty of good ideas!
3. they are not afraid to have an “accountability partner” to help them stick to their improvement plans. The big thinkers I help know their strengths and their need to call in the strengths of others.

If you can relate to this either as a big thinker or as someone who helps big thinkers achieve their big plans – here’s a great little tip I got from one of my US business heroes – James Clear.


James Clear


This resonated with me so much, I’ve been successfully using it myself AND sharing it with my BIG THINKER clients.

Overwhelmed with tasks or work? Don’t have the time you need to work on a project? Then THINK SMALL – well SMALLER!

Or as James Clear says:

Reduce the scope – stick to the schedule.

I’m paraphrasing from memory – but basically his message is:

Don’t have an hour? Schedule in 30 mins. Or even 15 mins!

Don’t have time to do your full work out or a longer run?

Do a 10 minute run OR 10 push-ups OR 10 sit-ups.

You get the idea!

As I advise my clients:

Make it a thought reflex. Instead of saying “it’s too hard” or “I don’t have time”.

Think: “How can I fit in a shorter time”. Don’t wait until you have the “longer” time you need. The reality is you probably won’t get it.

Often we just forget improvement plans or other projects because they are “blocked from our vision” by some more urgent, demanding task. We do nothing. We fall behind.

We stop progressing because:

1. our improvement plans or other plans fall off our radar
2. we thing we can wait till we have time to put in the time needed for our improvement plans

I totally agree with James Clear’s approach – keep moving forward and keep on schedule even if you need to reduce the scope – do a “smaller chunk”.

habits-book James Clear

This morning I just sent a friendly reminder (plus this valuable tip) to a super-busy, big thinking client.

Last week, another big thinker client was ultra-busy and didn’t have time for our usual 1 or 2-hour session.

He initially wanted to delay his audacious project for another month. He was so busy with other projects. This I understand and respect. But I encourage him to develop that thinking reflex – THINK SMALLER (chunks of time)

So here’s what we did. We applied James’s advice – we did 20 mins one day and 20 mins the next day.

We reduced the scope – and stuck to schedule. We kept moving forward. I encourage you to do the same!


TB LL mosaic

If you enjoyed this post – Let’s connect:
If you found this post interesting you can follow me and connect with me.
I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious business communication tips.

Linked In – under Tony Biancotti
Or you can follow this blog.

These days, lots of people and organisations need help with how to COPE with too much work, too much information, too many meetings, delivering difficult news, business writing, effective e-mail, e-mail overload, cross-cultural communication, better social media engagement etc. I like to help people COPE.



2 comments on “Small, super-effective solutions for busy Big thinkers (Pt 1)

  1. Pingback: Small, super-effective solutions for busy Big thinkers (Pt 2) | efangelist

  2. efangelist
    April 23, 2015

    Reblogged this on efangelist.

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This entry was posted on September 11, 2014 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , .
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