Yesterday I took a pair of shoes to have their heels mended. This tiny errand has been on my to-do list for months. Every day I'd look at the unwearable shoes at the bottom of my wardrobe and make a mental note to get them fixed... but then never did. Until yesterday.
Then the thrill of crossing off this unfinished task gave me so much energy, I tackled other niggling jobs. I sent the 90th-birthday card to my great-aunt. Her birthday was three months ago, but better late than never. I dropped trousers off to be taken up. I came home and sorted months' worth of paper work. I went to bed feeling thrilled and delighted with myself. Psychologists say that if you are feeling anxious and stuck, start by doing one tiny job. Even if it's just cleaning the bathroom. The effect of completing a task gives you a satisfaction that has a cascade effect on the rest of your life, making you more likely to tackle the big jobs that scare you.
And that's true. Today, despite the fact that the first one nearly drove me to insanity and bankruptcy, I started writing my second book. All because I took the heels to be fixed yesterday.
* Marianne Power is the author of helpmeblog.net