How more work today leads to extra gain tomorrow

Writer James Clear recently shared a note on the value of establishing good long-term relationships:

Being pleasant, reliable, and easy to work with might cost you a little more time. Perhaps even a bit of extra money. But the long-term returns from a great reputation usually outweigh the cost of a single transaction.

Most of the value in life and in business arises out of good relationships.

James observation goes hand in hand with the idea that your network is your net worth, which we discussed a few weeks back.

People will carry the memory of how good it was to work with you in their next job.

If you left a positive impression, they might reach out when they’ll need someone with your skill set.

The opposite is also true. Leave a lousy impression, and no one will want to work with you again.

As James put it, being “pleasant, reliable, and easy to work with” might require more effort on the spot but pays dividends in the future. And the effect of each positive interaction compounds over time.

Nourishing good relationship is only one example of how something that looks like extra work today becomes extra gain in the future. Others are:

  • Re-reading messages before sending them to edit for clarity, because it reduces the chances of misunderstanding and saves time explains yourself again.
  • Reviewing your own PRs, leaving comments to answer what other reviewers might ask, or, even better, update the code to remove the need for the question, because it prevents time-consuming back and forth and keep your work moving along smoothly.
  • Routinely cleaning and servicing your tools, vehicles, and house, because it ensures they’ll keep serving you reliably.
  • Eating wholemeal, homemade food is more expensive and time consuming but helps you stay healthy (so you have more time to enjoy yourself and save money on healthcare)

Adopting and maintaining a long-term mindset can be challenging because of our intrinsic need for instant gratification but it’s also a safer way to ensure gratification will come and keep coming.


By the way, are you interested in doing better work while wasting less time?

I’m working on a book for remote workers who want to take advantage of their job’s flexibility to both perform at their best and enjoy their free time.

To test the material, I’ll be running free, 1-1, async coaching sessions. I promise I won’t try to sell you anything, just offer honest conversations to learn about your work setup and see if we can improve it.

Send me an email or a Twitter DM.

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