Malo po Malo

If there’s one thing travel does for you, it is, expose you to the varied cultures of the world. If there’s one thing you are exposed to by traveling to the country of Croatia, it is, a lifestyle built around taking your time and doing things little by little, or as the locals say, “Malo po Malo.”

Equally as foreign as being an American in this country, is the concept of taking it easy. Growing up and living in fast paced cities all my life – as many Americans do – it is not until I return to my ancestral roots that I am reminded of the importance of taking my time with my endeavors.

Being witness and taking part in this culture built around the simple life, I am also reminded of the importance of taking pride in my work, standing up for what is most precious, and taking my time in doing so.

“Go go go!” was a mantra I adopted long ago, and the lifestyle I convinced myself of living was, “inconsistency would be my only consistency.” What I created in turn was a fair bit of chaos without realizing it while it was happening. So, it was time for a change.

“Focus on being productive instead of busy.” – Tim Ferriss

An old tale told to me about a boat builder who had “no time” to spend sharpening his saw because he had too much work to do resonated more than I enjoy admitting. Had the boat builder taken a few minutes to sharpen his saw, he would have been more productive instead of just busy cutting wood with a dull saw. He also more than likely would have returned home earlier to spend time with his family and/or at the very least, gotten some much needed rest.

I was most certainly the boat builder described in the tale. Acknowledging this, no longer would I continue cutting the proverbial wood with a dull blade. This story, as well as the Croatian people have once again shown me that, little by little, or Malo po malo, I can be efficient while also being effective, in turn becoming more productive in everything I set out to do.

If you find yourself in the same predicament, Firstly, know that you are not alone. Secondly, take a stand against busy work & inefficiency. Thirdly, and most importantly, ask for or give yourself what you need in order to be more productive.


By Nicholas Lucin