Mind Coach NOLA on "Micro-Progress"

I’d never heard the term “micro-progress” but, since reading Time Herrera's article "Micro-Progress and the Magic of Just Getting Started" in the New York Times, I have used the term and recommended it to my clients. It’s a magic trick to get started a project or task that you just can’t or won’t start. When faced with an activity that looms large, try this trick:

Say your “to do” on the list that just never gets crossed off is something like: "Do taxes," or "Clean out attic," or "Write final term paper." Yikes! Of course that’s pretty terrifying.


How about breaking it up into tiny tasks? For example: "Take files out of cabinet." Or: "Pull down ladder." Or: "Read grading rubric." Aaaah. That’s a lot easier, isn’t it? By breaking your mammoth project into teeny tiny tasks, you can cross them off your list easier. Yes, breaking it down might take a while, but you don't even need to write the list for the entirety of the project. The point is that once you get started, its easier to move on. Maybe just write down the first 5 tiny steps. Once you’ve experienced a bit of success and acknowledged that you are making progress, it actually feels good to continue.

So go ahead and take that baby step. Put on one shoe. There you go! Now it’s easier to put on the other. Stand up. And off you go!