Procrastination almost if not always comes down to one of two things: being expected to do something you don’t think you should do or knowing, subconsciously, that there’s something more important that you really ought to be doing instead.

The former case is surprisingly common: Many of us work in bullshit jobs or jobs with bullshit duties, ones that we know serve no real purpose except to enrich our employers. Resisting that is fine and healthy and even worth celebrating when that is the case. Other times, our belief in the pointlessness of some assignments comes out of ignorance of their true value. Only by figuring out whether the task is worth the effort can we address that procrastination by either getting out from under it or by finding their real value.

Things get harder when we know the task is necessary or that the one we’re choosing to do isn’t the highest priority. Sometimes that higher priority is too huge to comprehend (“save the world”/”find a job”/”pass the exam”) and the depth of decision-making required to even start on that paralyzes us. Other times we know that performing the more important task will come with discomfort or pain (“see the dentist”/”exercise today”/”have that relationship talk”), which are only natural to resist out of a sense of self-preservation, even if it’s often only the ego worried about its own pain. In either case, it comes down to finding the smallest practical step that you can take next. It might be one phone call, five push-ups, one vital question, or simply sitting through something without flinching. Whatever gets you one step closer to the bigger goal.

What are you procrastinating on now? What single step can you take next? Why not take that step right now?