The Rule of One is a simple and time-tested rule: Begin changes or tasks one step at a time. Instead of staring in a numb state of shock at a dozen major tasks that seem overwhelming, whittle each task down until you get to the very first step. Then take the first step, one at a time.
The Rule of One is a rule that works miracles. You can declutter your house or your office one piece of junk or clutter at a time. You can lose weight one pound per week. You can read a book one page at a time. You can change your diet one food at a time. You can eat less one bite at a time. You can study your lessons one paragraph or one page at a time. Imagine how much easier it is to think about the Rule of One than it is to look at a formidable pile of clutter clogging your house, or the need to lose 50 pounds, or the seeming impossibility of reading a 400 page book. Once it sinks in that you don't have to do everything all at once, that you don't need to reach your goal or conquer your procrastinating and lazy habits all in one fell swoop, then you can relax. One moment at a time.
Once you catch on to the Rule of One, you can apply a principle you learned in third or fourth grade arithmetic: the great principle of multiplication. Yes, we're talking about the "times tables." Such as "ten times one equals ten." Thus, once you start practicing the Rule of One with a passionate vengeance, all you have to do to produce a miracle is to apply the principle of multiplication to the rule of one.
If you need to lose sixty pounds, multiply one pound in one week by sixty weeks and, imagine this, in sixty weeks, or a little over a year, you have lost the weight you have struggled to lose for lo these many years. If you want to read a 400 page book, but have professed forever not to have time to read, you can read one page at a time and before you know it you have finished the book and started on another. If you vow to pick up a piece of junk or clutter each time you enter or leave a room, soon you will be amazed to be living in an environment that is clutter free and neater than you could ever have imagined.
So make out a list of stuff you need to do but have been afraid or too lazy to tackle because the task seemed too big and overwhelming. Then whittle all of the stuff down to the bare bones. Then take one measly little tiny step at a time as you tackle each of your tasks on your stuff list. Then multiply and keep going. Not so hard, was it?
Task Number 286: Apply the principle of multiplication to the rule of one. Your life will become streamlined, your procrastinating days will be over, and life will be happier. Good luck. Start small, then multiply by however many you need to multiply and you will be amazed. Good luck and keep going. The Curmudgeonly Professor.