A Lesson From Chess: Make More Progress By Doing Less - Deepstash

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A Lesson From Chess: Make More Progress By Doing Less

A Lesson From Chess: Make More Progress By Doing Less

Here's an unpopular opinion:

You should do less.

Now, before you start throwing virtual tomatoes at me…

Let me explain.

We all have the same 24 hours, right?

So why do some people make immense progress in those 24 hours, while most people don’t? (Hint: we are most people.)


You’ll see why in a moment.


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High Impact Activities

High Impact Activities

Think of the 80/20 Rule (or Pareto Principle).

This rule says that roughly 80% of consequences, come from 20% of causes.

What does this mean?

For example:

20% of criminals commit 80% of crimes.

20% of drivers cause 80% of traffic accidents.

20% of our efforts produce 80% of the results.


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Why does this matter?

Why does this matter?

Because most of us, spend our time, energy, and resources on stuff that doesn't produce the most results. (A.K.A the 80%)

Imagine running a business.

Logo design, social media posts, website design - all important. But getting customers? That’s where the $$$ is.


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Control the Center

Control the Center

In chess, the person who controls the center of the board - has a significant advantage.

I will spare you the full nerdy explanation, but look at this example:

A knight in the center of the board controls 8 squares. While a knight placed in the corner - controls only 2 squares.

Just like the chessboard, your life has a "center" the 20% that drives 80% of your progress.


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For example, exercising will not only help you build muscle or lose weight - It will also:

  • Boost your energy.
  • Reduce your stress.
  • Increase your self-esteem.
  • Improve your sleep quality.
  • The list goes on and on…

The benefits of exercising have an impact on your business, your relationships, your overall well-being, and more.

(Like the knight in the center of the board)

It’s safe to say - exercising is part of the 20%.

So exercise ;)


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The key to making real progress - lies in finding the center.

The 20% of tasks, habits, and skills that produce the most results. And then, relentlessly prioritize them.

Now, I’m not suggesting you abandon everything else.

Rather, you only need to prioritize the 20%. Try and work on it daily, above all else.

If life throws a curveball, It’s better to try and still do your workout - instead of tweaking your website. (Source: trust me bro)


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“To be successful you don’t need to do extraordinary things, you just need to do ordinary things extraordinarily well.”



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Putting it into Practice

Right now, you probably understand the importance. So let’s talk about actionable steps:


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1. Identify what matters most.

For example:

Do you need to pay the bills with your business?

Do you lack the mental clarity to make good decisions?

Which one matters most?


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2. Find the center.

Take some time to identify the tasks, habits, or skills that have the biggest impact on making progress toward this goal.


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3. Break it down.

If you need to improve your sleep, this can mean:

Go to bed at 11 pm every day.

No screens after 9 pm.

No caffeine after 3 pm.

Turn your big tasks into clear, daily actions.


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4. Commit

Make these tasks the focus of the day. If you've completed them, your day counts as a win - no matter what else happens. Anything extra is just the cherry on top.

Commit until it becomes a habit, or until the tasks are completed - then repeat the steps.

Take your time. This is a marathon, not a sprint.


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" Success is often just the correct execution of simple principles "



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If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re ambitious. You want to build wealth, have meaningful relationships, be healthy, and gain freedom. But the truth is, tackling everything at once can do more harm than good.

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