Doing the least amount possible

If you know how little you need to do to get by, you can ensure much greater consistency with the things you do.

I like to set minimum attainable standards I must meet, but also maximum limitations I must abide by for nearly every task in my life.

If I just meet the minimum, I can check that item off my to-do list. The maximum limit ensures I don't spend 3 hours in the morning working on sketching when there are more pressing items I must be doing.

Example #1: Go to the gym each day

Minimum standard: Drive to the gym and walk on the treadmill for five minutes.

Maximum standard: Complete my full lifting routine for that day + 30 minutes of running.

Knowing that all I NEED to do is get to the gym and walk for five minutes helps get me to the gym and once I'm at the gym the lifting and cardio is easy. The most difficult part of going to the gym is the going part.

Example #2: Read every day

Minimum standard: Read for five minutes.

Maximum limitation: Read for no more than 60 minutes.

Finding five minutes to pick up a book is easy and most of the time I get engrossed in what I'm reading and stick around for 30 or 40 minutes. Here the maximum limitation forces me to focus as I read because I can only spend an hour reading at most.

This technique has been the most effective way to get me doing the daily task I want to incorporate into my life and be consistent with them. Reading, praying, working out, sketching, email, cleaning my office, learning new skills via online training, writing these blog posts, and a number of other things.

Have you considered setting a minimum standard for something to be considered a success in your life and business?