How often have we all said that we would do something, only to never get around to it? “Only all the time…” some of you may be thinking. There seems to be some supernatural force between “That’s something that I should do” and “This is something I’m doing.” This can be a tough place to be, especially when we have good intentions. Life gets in the way, we lose track of time, and what’s more, there are often legitimate reasons why we don’t get to something we intend to.

These types of things can creep up on us all the time. Just look at the state of your house, or your room, if you let those things go unattended. First, you don’t have time to make the bed, then you get busier and don’t fold the laundry on the drawers, and before you know it, your room looks like you left the windows open during a hurricane. Fix this with small steps. The antidote to this chaos (shout out to Dr. Jordan Peterson), is to take small, manageable steps that add up to a big win. Let’s say, in that example, your room is a huge mess and altogether it looks like a three-hour project that you just don’t have the time or interest to tackle right now. Start small and just make your bed. It’s totally okay not to complete the whole project, at least your room is 1% better than before. Do this enough times, and you’ve got a clean room.

When starting a project, or even a task, start with small steps, smaller than you think you need. Answer a single email, read a single paragraph, make a three-minute phone call. Your to-do list does not have to be a list of enormous projects that look too daunting to handle. It’s far better to have a list of incomplete items you’re making progress on than a list of never-started, would-be-great-if items.