It’s easy to convince yourself that it’s the big acts of willpower that make a difference in your work. It’s the massive, once-in-a-career project that falls into your lap, or the big deal that you spend two weeks around the clock trying to close. Yes, those are important, but they’re also rare.
More often than not it’s the little things that you do every day that actually move the needle. It’s your everyday practices that sharpen your skills and hone your instincts to the point that you’re able to take advantage of those big opportunities.
- If you’re a leader, your (everyday) conversations about expectations and team needs are what enable you to have the trust you need when your team has to (once-in-a-while) deliver big results on a critical project.
- If you’re a writer, your (everyday) habit of writing things you don’t always care for is what enables you to write the (once-in-a-while) 60,000 word book manuscript.
- If you’re an entrepreneur, your (everyday) habit of connecting with your core why is what enables you to say no to those (once-in-a-while) potentially lucrative opportunities that will lead you off course.
As Gretchen Rubin wrote very succinctly:
What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.
Your daily practices are what develop your creative muscles so that you make it look easy when the pressure is on. What are you doing today to keep yourself in game shape? What’s on your list of “dailies”?
Have the conversations you need to have, work on the skills you need to hone, and refine the vision by which you make decisions before you’re under pressure to deliver in the moment.