The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step-Lao Tzu.
The human mind loves complicating things. A person is judged by his or her ability to perform complex tasks. “One” is too simple, too mundane, and maybe even too insulting to suggest to a person basking in his or her accomplishments.
However, the reptilian brain” the Reticular Activating System- RAS”-the seat of emotions, is put off by complexity. It loves small tasks, “one” at a time, “one” small bit at a time. Too many tasks overwhelm it. If you ask the “RAS” how do you eat an elephant? It would probably reply “one small bit at a time.”
Enough of theory. How would you put that into practice? Imagine a sink full of dirty dishes you have to wash-a task many hate going about. Now seeing that big pile of dishes could seem overwhelming. Not a problem at all. Take one dish, wash it, and put it away. Then do something else. What? You may think this guy is crazy. It works!
If you have nothing to do, sit back and watch five minutes of television, come back and do the next one dish, maybe one more for good luck. In any case, the sitcoms keep repeating; you wouldn’t miss much.
You may have some tax filing forms to fill in, or some other project to complete. This method would work well in a home office, or somewhere where you wouldn’t be supervised. Keep two “paperwork” tasks side-by-side and get creative. Fill in one now, put aside, then go on to the other task. The brain loves a change in anything-different clothes, different cuisine, different cars, different “anything.” When you engage it in two different “one tasks,” you keep it interested. It works.
I did not say do two things at the same time. Finish one “one task” go on to the next “one task” comeback, repeat. Finally, if you get bored, shut off both tasks, and come back to them later. There is a higher chance that you would eventually complete these tasks by attacking them multiple “one task” times and wonder, how on earth did I complete these tasks that I had been putting off for so long?
Well, the simple answer is that by keeping it very simple, you ended up showing up at your task repeatedly, and when you “showed up,” you did that “one thing,” time passed by, and the work got done. You did not procrastinate.
Procrastination happens if a task is perceived as painful, tough to accomplish, of long duration, or the outcomes seem overwhelming and uncertain. You don’t need to know how the work will get completed, just show up repeatedly, and act on it taking baby steps-maybe even that “one-step.”
If it is ultra boring, mix it up with some exciting music, or activity and do that “one-step” few times. No more excuses, please. It can’t get easier than this.
If you do nothing, in any case, life would pass you by. Would the next five years look the same as the previous five? You get to choose. The quality of your life is a result of the choices you make, and the direction you take. Choose wisely… Choose the right direction.