Progress by Erosion

Are You In “Project Purgatory?”

You want to get your garage organized but you know you will never get an entire weekend to get it all done. So you sit in Project Purgatory. Same with your new business project or shredding last year’s old files. There’s not enough time to get it done from start to finish, so you never start.

Who Has 17 Million Years?!

It took the Colorado River 17 million years to carve its way through the layers of rock to create the Grand Canyon. I know you don’t have 17 million years to get your garage organized. The point is that the Grand Canyon didn’t become the mile-deep spectacle it is in a day. Or 100. Or 1000.

Progress by Erosion

As a huge believer in the power of micro-movements, I’ve learned the secret to blasting out of Project Purgatory is to begin with the plan in mind to only get part of the project done. In fact, when I approach a project, I usually break it down into no less than 20-100 miniature steps.

Each step ideally is something I could do in 5 minutes or less, while I’m waiting for the kettle to boil for tea. This is the secret of Progress by Erosion.

Got 5 Minutes? 2? 1?

If you’ve got 5 minutes, then you’ve got time to do one more tiny step on the list to make Progress by Erosion toward your ultimate goal. There is no such thing as “nothing you can do in a minute.” You can meditate for a minute. You can gather your thoughts in a minute. You can straighten your desk in a minute. Don’t believe me? Time yourself.

Okay, it’s not “as good” as you could do if you had more time. But if you don’t have more time, you make use of that minute. Or don’t. But just how long do you want to wait to have the things you want? Don’t tell me you’ve got 17 million years! What can you do in the next 5 minutes?

C’mon, I’ll race ya….

DrAnita Sanz, PhD, Psychologist

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