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Brendon Burchard is a marketing guru whom I admire and respect. But I disagree with one of his major tenets of Productivity. He asks, “What will move the needle THE MOST?” It’s a nice idea, but doing so can be jarring and unsustainable.

In Why Productivity Literature is Wrong, we looked at how sudden change can adversely affect our nervous systems and thus our future productivity. So too, when we try to move the needle in large doses and leapfrog the difficulties, we are setting ourselves up for failure. The key is to build our infrastructures up, little by little.

I cannot count how many times over the years clients have expressed a desire to:

“Just get rid of it!”
“Get a g****mn dumpster and throw this s**t out!” and even to…
“Burn it alllll.”


People say intense and aggressive things when they’re frustrated and hopeless. It’s understandable. But the problem with taking large aggressive action (even if it’s for a good cause) is that it doesn’t solve the underlying problem/s that brought you to this situation in the first place, and sets you up for a high rate of recidivism.

It’s like medicine treating the outcome, not the cause. As someone with family members in the medical profession and a personal interest in solving and understanding health issues, I understand: it is waaaaay harder to treat the cause. We need to do a blend, though: treat the outcome temporarily as we continue determinedly to try to find the cause, and make changes at the root.

In other words, if you have a rash on your arm, you don’t “Just get rid of it” and cut off your arm! Presumably you treat the rash AND try to assess what caused it so you can make different choices in the future. And guess what? It’s pretty hard to think rationally about systems and infrastructures and causes when your arm is itching and hurting so much you just want to cut the darn thing off!

Joumor Principles:

Eat Before You’re Hungry: The best time to deal with things, especially challenging things, is when you don’t have to. We all have a lot to do, and overwhelm is on the rise. Try to allot 1-5 minutes AT THE SAME TIME per day to start catching up on basic things. Once you are caught up, you will have the literal and mental space to start to assess problems when they come up.

5/3: In Joumor, we spend 5-15 minutes planning for each 3 minutes of action. Your challenge this weekend: Try it and report!

Doing things little by little by tiny by miniscule moves mountains…without having to shoulder the burden all at once. What is your mountain, and how can you nudge that needle just a little?

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