Even huge projects proceed in discrete, and often relatively small, steps. It can help productivity and sanity to keep our main attention there.
Jim Rohn notes in his article Facing The Enemies Within, that no matter what we are trying to accomplish, “whether it’s writing a book, climbing a mountain, or painting a house the key to achievement is your ability to break down the task into manageable pieces and knock them off one at one time.
“Focus on accomplishing what’s right in front of you at this moment. Ignore what’s off in the distance someplace. Substitute real-time positive thinking for negative future visualization.”
It can be helpful to be more conscious about this principle of Kaizen: a Japanese term that means “good change.”
Pronounced kigh-zen, Robert Maurer, PhD, describes it in his book One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way as an ancient Zen philosophy that prescribes “constant, small, gradual improvement,” rather than innovation – “which connotes big, bold, sudden, seismic change… It’s a powerful tool in creativity and personal change.”
Linda Dessau in her article Staying with it: Momentum overcomes procrastination, talks about overcoming intertia by concentrating on manageable pieces: “When all else fails, just start. In my other writings about procrastination, I’ve talked about the 15-minute method. This is where you set a timer for fifteen-minutes and tell yourself you only have to do this task until the timer goes off.
“As I practice the credo of ‘do one thing (at a time) and do it well’, I’m gaining more and more evidence that, for me, this approach allows me to use momentum to enter and STAY in the creative flow. And once I’m in that state of flow, procrastination is a dim memory.”