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A Tapestry of Tiny Streets


I6-Countryf you’ve never had the privilege of delivering newspapers at 3:30 in the am, let me describe to you the joy and the fulfillment that one is treated to as part of this experience.

Upright at 2:30 AM

First of all, you need to be upright by 2:30 am, 2:45 at the latest. You’ve got to get down to the distribution building where you’ll receive your newspapers as well as your fliers. Those fliers will need to be inserted into each of your newspapers and then you’ll have to load those up into your vehicle. You don’t want to be dragging your feet, either because technically you’re supposed to have all of those papers delivered by 5:30.

Depending on the size of your route, you could have as many as a couple hundred papers that have to find their way to their subscriber. Most deliveries are pretty intuitive, but there’s always some random locations that are hard to find – especially the first time you’re on your route.

Those Aren’t Extras…

Once you get accustomed to where you’re going, it’s not difficult. But if you’re not careful, it’s not at all uncommon to have a couple papers left over. Those aren’t extras – those are newspapers that someone has paid for you that you’ve overlooked and you’ve got to figure out who they belong to.

This can be a time consuming and exasperating dilemma. If you can’t figure it out, chances are excellent that customer is going to be making a phone call and you’re going to hear about it tomorrow.

I Had to Come Up With a System

When I first started, I had a couple of situations where I overlooked a delivery and I got called on the carpet for not doing my job correctly. While it’s not hard to deliver a newspaper, when you’ve got a bunch to distribute and you’re doing your best to stay conscious because you’re so tired, I determined that I had to come up with a system that gave me the chance to keep better track of what was going out the door.

You have this large computer print out that lists your deliveries according to the street(s) where each of these deliveries are located. I broke things down according to logical locations so rather than trying to keep track of 250 papers, I was keeping track of 10, then 15, then 7 and so on. If I missed something, I could tell immediately because now I had a series of easily manageable goals as opposed to one large target that tended to be hit and miss.

The Big City of Success – A Tiny Tapestry of Streets

“Goals” are common among people who are successful and accomplishes. But just as common are people who set goals and fall short because, like me, they’ve got this huge target in front of them that proves to be more illusive than what they were expecting.

To reach that ambitious goal, you want to break it down into a series of manageable goals. If you’re writing a book, you break it down into chapters and even paragraphs. Are you thinking in terms of fitness? Maybe you want to up your intake of water and you want to have consumed a gallon before the end of the day. Instead of trying to guzzle a two liter at 3:00, just plan on drinking a liter every three hours.

Think about what you’re trying to do. Is there an opportunity to break things down into goals that are more manageable? Consider it. At the end of the day, not only are you able to better measure progress, but you’re able to keep yourself more motivated because you’re able to see that forward momentum.

Whether it’s breaking down a paper route to a series of streets, or a twelve hour goal to a process that repeats every three hours – the big city of success of success is ultimately a tapestry of tiny streets, each one representing a manageable goal that has been accomplished.

That’s what I’m saying!




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