What is the smallest effort you can make that can lead the maximum impact?

Routine and course changing actions

Our life is a repetition of routine tasks that maintain you the same course of action, and of leaps that we take to change its course.

In order to make the best out of our life, we can mainly:

  • Save time on routine tasks (unless we like doing them, or we can remove them) to free up time,
  • Learn new knowledge or skills, get new experiences, meet wonderful people, with the time we managed to free up.

Now, the time you can save on routine tasks can probably amount between 20% and 50% of its total. So the margin of action for improving is limited.

Maximizing the impact of our improvements

However, we can maximize the impact of the other actions when learning new skills, working out, eating healthy, making money, etc…

By maximizing the impact, I mean that instead of improving with incremental percentages of 10-30%, we can always ask ourselves: how can I leap by 10 times and not 10%.

A change in the way of thinking

The real power of that question is about framing your thoughts.

The effort required between achieving the two following alternatives is totally different:

  • Running 10 or 100 km
  • Learning 1000 or 10000 words
  • Buying a 1 or 10 houses
  • Having 1 or 10 kids
  • Earning 1000€ or 10000€
  • Getting 10000 or 100000 followers on social media

In order to leap by x10, you cannot employ the same techniques. You cannot work 80 hours per day instead of 8 hours. You need to be 10 times more efficient. You need to consider solutions which you could not think of by taking on 10% increments.

The power of reframing is extremely powerful in every area of our lives.

Thinking long term vs. short term

For instance, it also works with time. You cannot think your life in a 10 years planning as in a 10 days planning.

In order to make a long term massive impact, planning first for the long term and breaking it down to daily activities can help direct your course of action into a laser focused bulldozer.

You can’t plan well your day for long term achievement if you don’t know what you need to achieve this week, this month, or this year.

Making a 5 year plan, and breaking it down to 90 days plans requires maybe 2 or 3 hours of your time. But the long term impact it can have can be tremendous.

You don’t need to achieve the 10x objective to consider it a success

The idea of 10x is about reframing. When you set out an ambitious goal, you won’t need to necessarily achieve it.

It only matters that you care enough to think differently. You will absolutely achieve a great result, better than you’d have achieved without this thought process.

About the minimum dose

To take it one step further, you can take your action plan, and ask yourself: what is the 20% of that plan that allow me to achieve 80% of the objective.

By injecting the notion of minimum dose, you are adding a layer of effectiveness to your 10x plan.

Now you’re not considering only the impact you’re trying to make, but also the effort required to achieve it. By focusing on the actions that contribute most to the result, you’re now achieving maximum effectiveness.

The effectiveness here is illustrated by the Pareto Principle, also called 80/20 rule.

Next steps

I recommend reading The Four-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. He is the one who made that very powerful question famous. And he has an original approach to goal setting, and lifestyle creation.

If not, start putting on a piece of paper the goal that matters to you. Multiply the result by 10, and start thinking how you will achieve it. When you have a plan, get it done :).

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