The Snowball Theory

I’m sure most people have heard of the Snowball Method for paying off debt.  We’ve adhered to that, off and on, for years, although we’re by no means perfect at it.  The idea is that you prioritize your debts in order by smallest to largest.  You pay the minimum on all but the smallest bill, and you chuck all the extra you can manage on that one.  Once it’s paid off (which, theoretically should be pretty quickly because it’s the smallest bill), you roll the amount you were paying on the first bill to the next smallest, adding to the minimum payment you were making on that one.  You go on down the line, never actually changing your total output, but rolling the payments together so that by the time you’re paying off the biggest bill, you’ve got a nice chunk of change going toward it each month.

I think that same theory can be applied to general life, not just debt repayment — in essence, you put the minimum amount of effort into all but ONE project on your To-Do list, accomplish that quickly, then roll that effort into the next project down the line. You concentrate on one thing at a time instead of dividing your attention between multiple things.

I’m feeling scattered lately, as though I have too many projects going in my head.  I wonder if putting a few aside and just concentrating on one or two would enable me to check a few things off the list and then move on.

The problem is, I like all the things I do — writing here and trying to write a book and working and taking care of the house and working out and horse riding and traveling.  I don’t want to put any of those things on hold, even for just a little while.  But I find that my days are often so split up if I try to do a little of each thing every day, that I end up getting very little done in general.

I know there’s a good balance out there, but I’m still searching for it.  I’m afraid that snowball is going to come rolling back downhill and flatten me if I don’t take a few things off my plate for a while.

And I know — waaah, poor me, I have so many things I like doing and no time to do them all.  This is not a real problem, but it’s annoying to get to the end of a day or a week and not feel like you’ve made much progress because you’ve done just a little bit of a lot of things.  I’d like to not feel like that.

What do you think — a little bit of a lot of things, or one thing at a time?

Also, I feel a little better about being busy when I look at this post and read the stress between the lines, and apparently this is an ongoing theme with me that goes back years.


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2 thoughts on “The Snowball Theory

  1. Mick

    Sometimes in life there is no minimum payment option everything needs to be done or it all falls apart. Bill payment is part of that but so is enjoyment, kids, everyday drudgery I’m done


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