Chunking – Break Projects Into Manageable Tasks

We all have lots of tasks to complete, even more so if we are running our own business. But of course, not all tasks are created equal. Some projects are very difficult to work on and take a lot of time, while other tasks are so much easier to tackle.

Many people put off the bigger tasks and avoid doing them until the last minute. This is never a good attitude to take – it will sit in your mind, taunting you. It is much easier to do a hard, difficult task first, breaking it down into small manageable parts by adopting chunking, especially when working from home.

First Things First: Make A List

After you’ve decided on what task to work on first, make a list for your task. It may be writing an article – hey, maybe one about the best way to tackle large projects, for example. How do you think this one that you are reading came about? It came part from experience, but also from research.

It is important to break whatever task you are approaching into a manageable one. If it is a large task, like writing a 2,000 word piece, it needs to be broken down into smaller, more manageable parts. Make sure you take the time to break it down into a list of tasks that need to be finished in order to complete the whole.

Step Number Two: Start Working on the List

Your next task is to actually start your work. It’s no good writing a list and then leaving it at that. You’ll never get it finished, no matter that you made a good list. Paul is particularly good at list building, but sometimes I have to remind him to actually start the task.

If you are working on an article, you might choose to pick two sources and read them, whether they be online, from your own magazines or books, or maybe books from your local library. Once you have done some research write some information on your article before taking a break. You don’t want to forget them whilst you make a coffee, do you?

Of course, if you’re grouping tasks into manageable chunks, start on the most logical part first. You don’t put the cart before the horse, nor would you write a conclusion before writing the main body of the article. You may decide you want to write in bullet points quickly, whilst it’s fresh in your mind, and then flesh each point out into a paragraph or two.

Step Number Three: Take a Break

After you have completed your first task, take a break. Get away from the computer, drink some water and get a brisk walk in – simply getting away will give your mind a rest. Complete a (small) household chore or read a chapter of a book, but don’t get carried away. Reward yourself for getting the first group done.

When you return, you may want to re-read what you have written. Your mind will have had a chance to switch off and when you come back to it you may spot a glaring error – sometimes we re-read a sentence and you realise that what you have written isn’t what you actually wanted to say, and can sometimes even make no sense at all. (In this sentence I had two glaring spelling mistakes at first time of writing).

Step Number Four: Work on the Next Group

Now that you’ve finished your first task or group of tasks, tackle the next part of the project. By chunking the big task into many smaller tasks, you can make it much more manageable. And you will also find that starting gives you a bit of momentum, which is essential in business. If you can continue following this until your project is completed, you will be well on the way to getting more work done each day and becoming far more successful.

Chunking is a great way that anyone can complete so much more work each day. And you will not have that feeling of dread lurking over you, knowing that you need to complete a project that you are too scared to even start.

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2 Responses to Chunking – Break Projects Into Manageable Tasks

  1. Thanks for this info Paul. I personally love using lists to help me stay on track and get things accomplished.

    • thehomeofficecabin says:

      Thanks Sue – me too! I am trying to use Remember The Milk for my lists, but good old pen and paper comes in handy too

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