Little Steps for Little Feet: Break Something Down to Handle It Better



“Start where you are.  Use what you have.  Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe

Do you overwhelm yourself with all the things you have to do?

You can use a technique called Little Steps for Little Feet.

Basically, you chunk up your work into little steps to make each step easier.  It’s a simple method to take action by breaking any proposed task down into its tiny component parts.

You then combine your steps with timeboxing to improve your productivity and mood.

In Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, David Burns writes about a technique called Little Steps for Little Feet.

Key Takeaways

Here are my key take aways:

  • Break down your tasks.  One point is about breaking a task down.  Chunking up problems is a great way to avoid an all-or-nothing approach, as well as to simplify a complex or overwhelming task.
  • Timebox your effort.  Give yourself a time limit for producing results.  Timeboxing has multiple benefits. It’s a great way to force prioritization. Because it’s a limited box of time, it also forces you to be more thoughtful about what you choose to bite off. If you have a large pool of tasks, using timeboxes to chunk up the work is an effective way to make incremental progress.

Timeboxing to Improve Your Productivity and Mood

Burns writes about using time limitations to help improve productivity and your mood.

Burns writes:

“Do you tend to bite off bigger pieces than you can comfortably chew?

Dare to put modest time limits on what you do! Have the courage to walk away from an unfinished task!

You may be amazed that you will experience a substantial increase in your productivity and mood, and your procrastination may become a thing of the past.”

An extremely effective way to divide a task into manageable units is through time limitation. Decide how much time you will devote to a particular task, and then stop at the end of the allotted time, and go on to something more enjoyable, whether or not you’re finished.

I’m a fan of both chunking things down and using timeboxes to help avoid getting overwhelmed.

Simply improving the feeling of momentum, helps keep motivation going and sustain results.

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Photo by lrargerich