Barbara Mayfield, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Take the next step!
Updated: 2 days ago
When you are facing a big project or task, are you more inclined to get started right away, or put it off?
If you are in the 20% of the population who are considered chronic procrastinators, your answer will be “put it off.”
If you are among the remaining 80% of us who occasionally procrastinate, your answer will be “it depends.”
Everyone struggles with procrastination at least sometimes and we procrastinate for many reasons.
How do you get a big project accomplished? Take the next step.
Whatever the reason, when facing a task you can’t seem to get started on or can’t seem to complete, I would like to share some wise advice from Jeff Walker, the author of Launch.
Ask yourself this question: “What is the most important step to take?” His answer: “The next one.”
That’s it, take the next step.
All too often we stand at the bottom of the flight of stairs staring at the top and thinking we will never get there. In the same way that you don’t climb a flight of stairs in one step, you don’t complete a task or a project in one step. It takes one step after another.
Tackle big tasks one step at a time.
If you break the task down into small, manageable steps and make a commitment to tackle one step a week, one step a day, or even more if feasible, you will be amazed at how much you will accomplish.
What might this look like? Let’s say you want to begin a blog. You might identify your first step as: “generate a list of topics.” Sounds easy enough, but I propose you make your first step even easier so as not to put it off. Why? Because that step may feel like you need to be in a creative mood, or the perfectionist in you will want to critique each of the ideas you generate.
Instead, begin with an even simpler step. Make your first step: “Open my word processing program and create a document labeled “Blog Post Ideas.” Or, if you prefer to make your list with pen and paper, make your first step: “Get a notepad ready and label it “Blog Post Ideas.” In either case, you are likely to go even further and begin listing ideas, but if not, you are ready when the ideas begin to flow.
You have started and you are ready for the next step.
Just make sure you make a plan and commit to taking the next step…
And the one after that…
One step at a time.
Other strategies for managing big projects:
For more strategies see 5 Tips for Managing BIG Projects without Overwhelm. Here's a recap:
Tip #1 – Pace yourself
Tip #2 – Chunk and choose
Tip #3 – Delegate and share
Tip #4 – Persevere!
Tip #5 – Celebrate fully!
Now, go face that big project and take the next step!
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao Tzu
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