By the mile it's a trial, but by the inch it's a cinch.

— Zig Ziglar

As we move through life, most of us develop a collection of personal productivity hacks—little tricks that help us get things done, even when we don’t feel like being productive.

Everyone’s list is different, but here are two tactics that should be in everyone’s back pocket:

  1. Break projects down.
  2. Focus on the task at hand.

Breaking large projects down into individual tasks is such an important fundamental concept that entire productivity systems have been built on it, and most procrastination stems from a failure to keep it in mind.

If you’re struggling to get started, break the task into smaller pieces.

The second tip is about maintaining momentum once we’ve started to work. It’s so easy to worry about past mistakes or fret about how we’ll handle some future step of the project at hand. But in a very real sense, the past and future don’t exist—life is just a series of “nows.”

Forget the past and ignore the future. Do what’s right in front of you.

Success is about fundamentals, and it doesn’t get much more fundamental than these two ideas. Let’s keep them in mind!