I need a concise way to explain this idea:

Doing the small and easy tasks can be as noble (or more worthwhile) than doing the hard tasks.


  • 100 people can be more effective by working on small tasks — like creating community gardens all over the city, reducing carbon in the environment — than working on larger ones like experimenting and failing at curing major diseases.

  • I'm more effective spending an hour doing something I know well instead of doing heart surgery.

Going on this train of thought, I imagine there is a word to describe a phase of creating art, brainstorming, or constructing a house that is more productive than others.

As you can see, I'm struggling with a high-level comparison of productivity and effectiveness in individuals versus those in a collective. And also the process someone goes through to say: “Am I going to forge a new road alone (like a cowboy) or join a collective effort?”

I'm trying to avoid politically-charged words like sharing economy, collective, and communism.

  • 2
    Thousands of them. Consider the classical author Ovid, who said Adde parvum parvo, magnus acervus erit, that is, "Add little to little, [and there] will be [a] big heap". Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 2:09
  • Your best bet might be to search for lists of "famous quotations" or "aphorisms". Perhaps under the topics of work, effort, or accomplishment. Bring back a few, and we'll help you decide if they're fitted to your purpose. Commented Mar 17, 2015 at 9:14
  • For want of a nail ...
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 15:45

1 Answer 1


"many hands make light work"

This expression talks about collective effort being more effective than individual effort.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.