The Law of Triviality is the tendency to give disproportionate weight to minor issues. It takes courage to face arduous and difficult tasks. In the short run it is much easier to live in denial, to “kick the can” down the road but in the long run the consequences are usually severe. You have freedom of choice but not of consequence.

This is sometimes known as “bike shedding”. The example is given of a “committee’s deliberations on an atomic reactor, contrasting it to deliberations on a bicycle shed.  A reactor is so vastly expensive and complicated that an average person cannot understand it, so one assumes that those that work on it understand it. On the other hand, everyone can visualize a cheap, simple bicycle shed, so planning one can result in endless discussions because everyone involved wants to add a touch and show personal contribution.” – 

A related concept is that the COST of making a decision should never exceed the BENEFIT and the cost includes opportunity costs i.e. the issues on which one’s time and energy could’ve been better spent.

The key is to always keep one’s overarching goal in mind, to always seek to operate from one’s Highest Leverage Point, and to always be aware of the Progress being made on the Critical Path of one’s Core Mission. I frequently write down every morning the 3 to 5 things I MUST get done that day, the 3 to 5 things I’d LIKE to get done, along with 3 to 5 things I’d like to start working on and make progress on. These things are related to my Life’s Mission, my Self Concept, my annual Goal Setting/Life Planning. 

Ending Quotes:

“The time spent on any item of the agenda will be in inverse proportion to the sum [of money] involved.” – C. Northcote Parkinson

“The mind can be permanently profaned by the habit of attending to the trivial things.” – Henry David Thoreau

“Don’t get caught up in endless loops of triviality that waste your time and degrade your potential.” – Randall L. Ridd

“Begin with the End in Mind & First Things First” – Stephen R. Covey

As always, I share what I most want/need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier