If You Can’t Do It Fast, Do Only a Fraction of It

While you can indeed go sledding to gather the momentum you need to tackle your taxes, you can also vow to write ten invoices, then call it a day. Chances are, you’ll write eleven, 20, or even 50 of them once you’re in the zone. The important part is to not pressure yourself to get into the zone in the first place. If it happens, that’s awesome, and if it doesn’t, you’ll step back into the batting cage tomorrow.

The strategy behind “one puzzle piece a day” is twofold: First, you’ll indeed move the mountain by carrying away small stones, and if you make enough trips, you’ll completely transplant Mount Everest. Second — and this is the dynamic you’re betting on most of the time, especially when your screenplay comes with a deadline — each at-bat provides another chance at finding the wind that’ll carry you downhill. On some days, you’ll do two times, five times, ten times more than you had committed to, and it is on those days that the puzzle truly comes together.

If you can’t do it fast, do only a fraction of it. Then, do it again. And again. And again. Set the bar so low you’ll clap even if you fall over it, and eventually, you’ll stumble your way to success — which is a perfectly fine way to arrive.