Procrastinating? Start With a Small Task.

Last Updated on March 3, 2023

The hardest part of any task is getting started; that is why people love procrastinating.

Whenever I try to start a project, learn a new skill, write a new blog post, read a book, or do any other task, it is often easier to do it later.

Unfortunately, later becomes much later, and much later often becomes never (or the night before the deadline).

For the first month of the community quarantine, I haven’t been as productive as I wanted to be. I had so many things on my to-do list but haven’t made significant progress.

But upon watching a LinkedIn Learning course on time management, I stumbled upon the idea of doing BIG tasks by starting from ridiculously small steps. Step so small, it is even embarrassing not to do.

It made sense since, most of the time, taking the first step is just the needed boost to push us through ‘that’ dreaded task.

For example, for students (like you and me), it is challenging to study. So, how will I start from a ridiculously small task?

I may begin by just sitting in front of my book. Afterward, I can open the first page, then read the first paragraph. I can commit at least 5mins for that and see if I can build momentum.

Another example is when I am writing. I still haven’t established the habit of consistently writing in my blog, so I try to write more often. The problem is, I write only when I feel like it.

So, how can I use the principle of starting ridiculously small? I start writing only the first sentence, and most of the time, the following words just come flowing. It’s amazing.

Then there is exercise. Many people have been talking about getting “bigger” since the start of the community quarantine. But did you know that 7 minutes a day is all you need to remain active?

It may not give you the beach body you’ve always dreamed of, but it is better than nothing.

Now, how to start exercising by taking a ridiculously small step? First, open the app. Then ride it out and follow through.

Final Thought:

Many of us want to be more productive during this time, but we can’t gather the needed willpower to begin – so we procrastinate.

There are two kinds of procrastination – positive and negative.

The positive is when you put a task into the future because more urgent tasks are at hand.

Negative procrastination is avoiding the task at hand because suddenly, your room needs a general cleaning, you chat with a friend, or you decide to take a nap.

A quote says, “to eat an elephant – do it one bite at a time.” So, start small and get it over with.

Do you have a dreaded task? Start small. 

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