The Power of MicroProgress

How to accomplish big goals by using tiny steps.

NASA Human Rover Challenge Race is Underway! (NASA, Marshall, 04/11-12, 2014)

When you lead a busy life, it can be hard to find time to do things. Because of that, in many cases you don’t even start big tasks, simply because you don’t think you have the time to devote to it.

I’ve discovered a way to defeat that challenge, a way to achieve massive goals.

Instead of looking at that goal as a whole, break it up into teeny, tiny steps. The smaller the individual steps, the better. The trick here is to break it up into pieces that you can easily accomplish in just a few minutes.

I call these MicroTasks.

Once you’ve broken up your goal, decide to complete a single MicroTask each and every day. The best time to do this is in the morning when you first wake up.

This allows you to start your day on a triumphant note, knowing that you have gotten one step closer to your goal.

While it seems as if it would take longer to achieve a goal by only completing tiny sections of it, the fact that you do a tiny little bit each and every day means that you will actually accomplish your goal faster than if you wait for the time to complete big chunks, and even faster than if you waited for the chance to do the work all at once.

For instance, I now work on my writing for a few minutes each and every day. My goal is to write a single sentence when I’m writing, or review a single paragraph while I’m editing. By doing just this tiny amount every single day, I’ve already made a single editing pass on the book I wrote during my vacation and have almost completed the first draft of my next book.

And I’ve done it by making some MicroProgress each and every day.

To inspire myself, I place an X on the calendar every time I complete my daily goal. Watching that chain of Xs grow inspires me to do the work even when I’m not in the mood. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference.

If you have a goal that you want to achieve but think you’re too busy, try breaking it down into tiny tasks that you can do each day.

Because, as the turtle beat the hare, small bits of MicroProgress will help you win the race in the end.


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I’ve written a lot of books sharing my odd view of life in hopes of helping others. My most notorious book is titled The Shoestring Girl: How I Live on Practically Nothing and You Can Too, but The Minimalist Cleaning Method is pretty popular as well. You can find them at the following places:

Barnes and Noble
Apple iBooks
Smashwords (non-DRM)

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8 thoughts on “The Power of MicroProgress”

  1. I love this. Have you read Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg? There’s a lot of research behind why tiny habits work, one reason is because the bar is so low that the brain doesn’t go into sabotage mode. Good stuff!

    1. Thanks! I’ve read Atomic Habits but not the book by Fogg. I’ll definitely have to check it out! You are awesome, thanks for the recommendation.

  2. If anyone wants to read more on this topic the book “Atomic Habits” is excellent.

    1. I love that book! I’ve incorporated several ideas from that one into my daily life and it has helped immensely.

  3. I agree. For what its worth, when I switch to writing at least one sentence a day (six days a week), I started making a lot more progress on “Pebble bed pebble motion: Simulation and Applications” and finally finished all 20,000 plus words of it. Some days I only wrote one sentence, but some days once that first sentence was written I wrote a lot more.

    1. I do the same. My most productive times are on the weekends, but occasionally I get on a roll in the mornings. Not very often can I do more in the mornings, but it does happen. Great job on your book!

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