Consider Going The Extra Inch Instead Of The Extra Mile

Consider Going The Extra Inch Instead Of The Extra Mile

Going the extra mile is a great way to separate yourself from the pack, but it’s not the only way. Instead of going the extra mile every once in a while, consider going the extra inch with every single thing you do. Photo by Biking Nikon SFO.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with going the extra mile, but Josh Linkner at Inc. suggests the advice has become a little cliche and difficult to act on. Not to mention the fact that going the extra mile sounds exhausting when you already feel overwhelmed by the work you already have. That’s why he recommends you try going the extra inch instead. Linkner provides some basic examples:

Instead of going the extra mile once or twice a year, reframe your approach to go the extra inch with rhythmic consistency… You get to create the extra inches that are right for you. If you’re a student, the extra inch may be 10 additional minutes of study per day. If you’re a software engineer, it could be one extra round of testing before launch. Those working on projects can add one extra idea or concept that wasn’t part of the specifications, but takes the task to new heights. Scientists can add one extra experiment, while athletes can add one extra set in the gym.

Over time, those extra inches will add up to good things. More knowledge in your field of study, more progress at work, and more physical strength. And all without burning yourself out by overdoing things. Stretch those extra miles out into something far more approachable. The whole article is worth a read, so check it out at the link below.

Forget the Extra Mile — Go the Extra Inch [Inc.]


  • Ten extra minutes per day? You are proposing this as a good thing?
    By that argument, taking a break on long distance drives should be put off, along with compulsory rest breaks for fatigued shift workers. Do you really want to fly with a pilot who is “stretching” the rules on flight time?
    I wouldn’t. Not by an inch, not by a minute.

    • Thanks for your feedback! Starting 2016, lifehacks will only be posted on Lifehacker if they’re useful and appropriate for literally every human being on the planet.

      • I’ve been at country airports, where delays have forced the flight to be cancelled. Why?
        If the delayed flight had taken off, the pilot WOULD HAVE breached maximum flying time, about 20 minutes before reaching the destination.

        I’ve seen electricians, not allowed to work on high voltage power boards, because they have been working 12 hours straight.

        Workplace safety standards exist for a reason. Platitudes like “work a little unpaid overtime every day” [translation of the extra inch concept] MIGHT make your boss happier – until a workplace accident triggers an investigation, shutting down a plant / airline / mining facility / assembly line.

        A smart boss knows when to tell the employees to quit for the day.

        • Well, the way I read it, both you and the article are in agreement.
          Those examples you’ve provided are people already going well beyond the extra mile, which is why we have those safeguards in place, so they don’t become a danger to themselves and others.

          The advice was to give a little more over a sustained period, not exert yourself to the limit consistently.

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