I initially thought it's something like "pacing it out", but after googling it that doesn't seem to be the case.


You have a whole bunch of photos and you post them one a day instead of dumping them all at once.

  • You could often use drip feed - to supply (information) constantly but in small amounts in such situations, but I'm not sure that would work in your exact context. Jul 6, 2017 at 14:23
  • Possibly to do things piecemeal. Also there is the phrase "to take things one step at a time". Jul 6, 2017 at 14:32
  • 5
    You might be thinking of the phrase "to space things out" or "spacing things out," instead of "pacing it [things] out." As in, "I plan to space out my mailings, one a day, over the next six months." Jul 6, 2017 at 14:46
  • To "take things one step at a time" is probably the most used, as well as, straight forward answer. Jul 6, 2017 at 15:34
  • Do something little by little, bit by bit.
    – Dan
    Jul 6, 2017 at 21:28

6 Answers 6


You may be thinking of "pace yourself":

to try not to do things too quickly so that you have enough energy to be able to complete your task successfully: Pacing yourself and setting achievable goals are the keys to success in this business.
from Cambridge Dictionary

  • This, coupled with @rhetorician's suggestion, seems a good explanation. Jul 7, 2017 at 8:13

At least in computing, there is divide and conquer.


divide and conquer
(computing) An algorithm design technique applied to various algorithms, such as quicksort, that solve a problem by splitting it recursively into smaller problems until all of the remaining problems are trivial.

  • 1
    It's a great idiom. The area of application has obviously been broadened in recent years, as your quote shows. I don't think it would be standardly used for spacing out mailshots, though. Jul 7, 2017 at 8:16

Not an idiomatic phrase but a single word which may work here is: instalments.
Yet another word which may work is: piecemeal.


instalment. (US installment)


2. Any of several parts of something which are published, broadcast, or made public in sequence at intervals.

‘A summary of the story will be published in instalments in NZine.’



Characterized by unsystematic partial measures taken over a period of time.

[as adjective] ‘the village is slowly being killed off by piecemeal development’

[as adverb] ‘many organizations have been built up piecemeal’


I often use "little steps for little feet." However, this idiom suggests breaking a problem into small, manageable steps rather than your second-level meaning of "spread the task over time" for some reason other than difficulty.

Perhaps something as simple as "serial distribution" would do it.


Rhetorician wrote in a comment:

You might be thinking of the phrase "to space things out" or "spacing things out," instead of "pacing it [things] out." As in, "I plan to space out my mailings, one a day, over the next six months."


In the software development world, we iterate on the development of a solution until it satisfies our customers' requirements; but this almost always connotes a feedback loop.

For example, you might iterate the process of posting photos by posting some photos each week, and every week you would adjust which photos are selected based on feedback from the previous week's reviews.

Without feedback, the word I'd consider would be to trickle the release of the photos.

  • But doesn't iterate in this context mean you do a quick completion, correct to better version, correct again? This is different from building successive functionalities one after another, which is what I would regard as steps.
    – David
    Jul 6, 2017 at 19:07
  • @David, iteration in software engineering is to quickly develop a working feature, develop another, and another, until you have enough features to build a minimum viable product that you then ship. After that, each iteration adds a new minor piece of working functionality to the product. "Correct to better version, correct again" implies starting with a steaming pile of bugs and entering an endless loop of bug fixing; even though many product teams are certainly behaving this way, that's definitely not the best practice, and that's never supposed to be the plan. Jul 9, 2017 at 20:27

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