2 minute read

Have you ever found yourself stuck, not knowing how to start a task or project? Overcoming this feeling of procrastination and getting motivated can be tough, but there’s a simple technique that can help: “Write One Word.”

I didn’t plan to write this blog post; my goal was to write just one word. This is a great example of the productivity technique I want to share with you: the “Write One Word” technique.

So, what is the “Write One Word” technique all about? It’s about breaking down your big goals into super small steps. Instead of setting a big goal like writing a whole blog post, you start with something really small—writing just one word. It might seem too easy to make a difference, but that’s exactly why it works.

When you make the first step incredibly small, almost like a tiny, trivial task, it makes it much more likely that you’ll actually start. But the real magic happens when you condition on that first step. Once you’ve written that first word, writing the second word and the third word becomes much easier because you’re already in the flow of writing.

By conditioning on that first word, you set in motion a series of steps that help you guide towards achieving your goals. The right one word technique might sound trivial, but it’s far from it. Instead, it’s a high leverage point in your productivity system, directing you to make better choices along all of the future paths that it serves.

I started with the goal of writing just a single word, and now, to my surprise, you are reading the result of that. It’s much more than a single word. So in conclusion, the next time you’re faced with a daunting task, try breaking it down into the smallest, most manageable step as setting that as your first goal. In my case, writing that first word. You’ll be amazed at how tiny, at how this tiny change can lead to significant progress and help you reach your goals.

I “wrote” this blog post with the help of ChatGPT. I wrote a draft in my own words, then ran it through ChatGPT, then wrote a new version based on that, rinse and repeat. It reads… fine, but it feels a bit bland? It reads robotic and monotonic. I can “feel” that a robot wrote this, but can others? To me all the wording sounds just right. Anyway, I wanted to get this blog post out there. Writing one word is just another version of “just get started” and while it is a cliché, it’s a cliche because it works.