The First Step Is the Hardest

Getting started is sometimes the hardest part of a project, particularly if it’s not a project that your job requires you to do – something like cleaning the garage. The project may seem daunting because of the sheer scope, or it may require tedious attention to detail, or mind-numbing repetition. Whatever it is, you never start it, always finding something else to do. Sometimes it’s a project that must get done at some point, like doing your taxes. You can’t put that off forever. So how do you get started?

One good way to get started on a project like that is to break the project down into manageable chunks. If the project will take multiple days or weekends to complete, then make the first day of the project an easy day of planning and arranging the following days of the project. Once you’ve committed to getting started, then it’s easier to keep the ball rolling as the project continues. It’s the momentum theory of projects – projects in motion tend to stay in motion, projects standing still tend to remain still.

If the project requires a long stretch of uninterrupted time, then block off the time early and let everyone know so they can plan around your absence. Often starting a project like this is put off repeatedly because you feel like you won’t have time to get it done. If you’ve blocked off the time, and let others know, then you’ve committed to the project and it won’t be as easy to convince yourself that you can do it another time.

The first step is the hardest, but when you commit to start, you’ve made starting the project much easier. Ironically, once the project is started, you most likely will find that it wasn’t as daunting as you thought it would be. Furthermore, once it’s completed, you’ll feel great about having the project put behind you. It’s a win-win scenario. So get started today on that long past-due project.