Micro-Progress Overcomes Inertia

A reader of this blog forwarded to me an article on “micro-progress” that promises a solution the the common problem of procrastination.

Editor of Smarter Living, Tim Herrera, writes...

“Of the countless articles, books and so-called lifehacks about productivity I’ve read (or written!), the only “trick” that has ever truly and consistently worked is both the simplest and the most difficult to master: just getting started.

Enter micro-progress.

Pardon the gimmicky phrase, but the idea goes like this: For any task you have to complete, break it down into the smallest possible units of progress and attack them one at a time.”

Getting unstuck is my blog post on the same topic.

Developing momentum is the first step. Getting moving is more important than choosing the perfect direction.

Micro-progress combines this notion with the common recommendation for procrastinators… break a big task into smaller steps. In this case, we are talking about tiny steps. Ideally these micro-steps should be things that can be done in two to five minutes. Quick steps in roughly the right direction.

Think of it this way, an object that is not moving, tends to stay immobile. And an object in motion tends to keep moving. So the first step is to get moving…

James Clear summarizes the concept this way…

In my experience, the best rule of thumb for getting started is the 2-Minute Rule. Here’s the 2-Minute Rule adjusted for productivity: To overcome procrastination, find a way to start your task in less than two minutes.”

Let’s say I want to write a book (as I do).

First I come up with a title (Moodsurfing). Then I write a single sentence about the project (“living creatively with moods”) and then I write an idea for something that might fit into the book (micro-progress).

Now the key is to maintain the progress by noticing how good it feels to have gotten started… rather than halting the progress by focusing on just how much further I have to go.

Give it a try.

For More Information

Getting Unstuck


Why Do We Procrastinate?