consistency vs intensity

Consistency vs. Intensity [PMP #161]

Most people need consistency more than they need intensity.Click To Tweet

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I came across this idea on Twitter a few weeks ago and it really made me stop and think, so I thought it was worth exploring.

In actual fact, this is an idea of been aware of for a while. On my Personal Productivity Toolkit product page, I talk about the importance of developing “sustainable productivity”, rather than working hard for short periods and working in “bursts” of productivity.

Productivity Graphs

Why consistency matters

When you are consistent in what you do, you develop habits and routines that are more sustainable and last a long time.

The keyword here is “sustainable” and this is why so many people give up on the things they do.

For example, you can follow a workout plan for 6 weeks (intensity) but often these intense diets are unsustainable. If after 6 weeks you stop following a healthy routine and revert back to bad habits after this, all that work is for nothing. Now what if you’re less intense and follow a more conservative workout plan but more consistent and never miss going to the gym for 5 years. Which do you think is better?


Getting the right does of intensity

As I mentioned above, the issue with intensity is that it’s often unsustainable and can result in us reverting back to our old ways.

I believe the #1 reason a lot of new businesses fail is due to this balance between consistency and intensity. When starting a new business, a lot of people work really hard in the first few months or years and this often results in burnout. Now I’m not saying that starting a new business doesn’t require hard work. But you need to sustain this hard work over the long-run.

In my case, it took a few years of figuring things out before I made enough to quit my job and go full-time on my own business. And I think a large part of why I was eventually able to do this came down to patience and working hard very consistently during that time.

Whenever you start a new project, commit to a new habit or routine, take a second to think about this balance and ask yourself, how are you going to sustain this new thing? Don't let that initial excitement about a new project hijack your common sense and think about being consistent.