We have often touched on the idea of an incremental approach as one that builds to great achievements.  Let’s look closer at how that works.  There are many arguments against these concepts as “not enough.”  However, it is inarguable that small steps are forward progress, and they can build up habits.  Those habits can build great achievements and even become lifetime habits that never fade.

A Few Minutes A Day

There are many skills that we can build in minutes a day.  Vocabulary is an example we see in daily calendars.  There is a flurry of something-a-day calendars that show up at the end of each year.  Try one of them out, and you will see it does work.  You can build your vocabulary a word at a time, learn history a fact a day, or other skills and knowledge.  Schools typically use forty-five minutes to an hour each day to build skills but do not underestimate the value of shorter time investments.


Use Reflection Time

The end of the year often provides us a little “downtime” where we can think about what we want in the year ahead.  This year, skip waiting until January first to consider your resolutions.  Instead, start thinking about how to direct your life a few weeks sooner.  You can start today with a little work towards a goal.  Do a few pushups, walk for a few minutes, read an article that teaches you about a new skill.  These little investments grow to impressive achievements just as saving a few pennies a day can add up.

That is the value of an incremental approach.  It has little risk, with a small investment per day.  However, the return on those investments can be life-changing.

Everything Is An Incremental Approach

When you look back on your life, there is no skill we learn that was not built a step at a time.  We talk a word at a time, learn math a rule at a time, and build muscles a workout at a time.  Our challenge is to accept that even a little progress is still good.  Yes, there are situations where the gain dissolves before we next test a skill.  On the other hand, we do not know until we try.  Take the risk of a few minutes a day towards your favorite goal and see how it helps.

More Value From An Incremental Approach

Rob Broadhead

Rob is a founder of, and frequent contributor to, Develpreneur. This includes the Building Better Developers podcast. He is also a longtime student of technology as a developer, designer, and manager of software solutions. Rob is a founder and principle of RB Consulting and has managed to author a book about his family experiences. In his free time, he stays busy raising five children (although a few have grown into adults). When he has a chance to breathe, he is on the ice playing hockey to relax.

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