Starting is always the hardest part. Here’s a supersimple trick to power you over the hump.

How many good intentions founder on the difficulty of simply getting started?

Your resolution to start exercising more regularly or your vow to keep up your company’s blog are laudable goals. But each morning when the alarm clock rings, your intentions are good, but your will is weak, and another day passes without you making progress toward your goal. How do you overcome this inertia?

Some experts offer elaborate systems. Others prescribe deep soul searching and intensive visualization. But David Kadavy, author of Design for Hackers: Reverse-Engineering Beauty, has a simpler solution, and it takes only 10 minutes a day, so you can’t possibly offer the excuse that you don’t have time for it.

Ten Minutes to a New Habit

He described the technique on his blog: “Each day, after I wake up, as soon as is possible–before eating, before showering, before checking email, (but not before meditating)–I pick one task, set my iPhone timer for 10 minutes, and work on that one thing non-stop.” Sounds incredibly doable, right? But how effective could something so head-slappingly simple actually be?

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