I read somewhere once that while saying “one thing at a time” encourages you to take small steps and helps break down an overwhelming task, there are times when it can be overwhelming in itself because you still feel like you have a long list of things to do. “Just one thing” means that you prioritize one thing you want to accomplish, and you do just that.
When you’re feeling depressed, you likely don’t feel motivated to do anything. When it’s really bad you may feel like wrapping yourself up in bed and don’t want to leave. Even when you feel like staying under the covers, doing “just one thing” can give you a small sense of accomplishment that counts for a lot.
It doesn’t have to be anything big: do a load of laundry, read a book, vacuum the floor, draw or paint, tidy up the kitchen, paint your nails, or maybe even try going for a short walk. That’s all, just one thing. If after you do that one thing you feel a little motivation to do another, that’s great, but that’s not the purpose. The goal is to do “just one thing” – to give yourself a sense of accomplishment and something to be proud of.
Game Plan: If you find that you have a lack of motivation, make a deal with yourself that you’ll choose just one thing as a goal. It may lead on from there, but at the very least, you are taking an active step to get one thing accomplished.