Aardvark: it was the word that changed everything for Pictionary inventor Rob Angel. He knew that he had a great idea for a board game but he was overwhelmed with all of the logistical challenges that were involved. So he thought of the “smallest small step” he could, which, in this case, involved creating the list of words to draw. When Angel sat down with a dictionary and wrote down his first word, aardvark, he said he “went from being a waiter to becoming a game designer.”

Angel’s advice is to keep your head down and accomplish one task at a time, one after another after another. It’s his strategy to keep from being overwhelmed and served him well during the harried days of trying to bring Pictionary into production. The week before launch, his printer informed him that they were unable to sort the half-million cards they printed. Instead of giving in, Angel and his buddies did it by hand. One task at a time. In six days.

It’s important to see the big picture and sometimes we need to ignore it. Pick up the pencil and paper and find your aardvark to get you started on the next task at hand.

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