Tackling Big Tasks

Sometimes we are faced with tasks that seem so large in size that the task takes over our ability to complete to get it done. You might even want to get this job done and you just don’t know where to get started on it. Here are some ways to conquer the toughest thing on your to-do list.

If the size of the task is too much, break it up
Sometimes the hardest part of starting a task is recognizing where to start on it. Begin by breaking it down into sections or stages. This will allow for yourself to see what needs to happen first and what additional resources or research you might need. Performing a breakdown of a large task will also provide you with the ability to see the task from a more approachable angle, boosting your confidence and increasing your motivation to move forward with your work.

Lets say, for the sake of example, you are creating a website. The initial goal of creating a website can seem daunting. This might include things like writing the wireframe, buying the domain, creating content, developing landing pages, providing images, and more! Break down your task into more manageable jobs. As you complete each you will find a sense of motivation to tackle the next step.

Avoid procrastination and create a sense of accomplishment
Never leave a task simply because now is not a good time. Procrastination can be very enticing in the moment but kill your productivity. Speaking on procrastination, Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (What a name!) said, “Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” Tim Urban, a self proclaimed master procrastinator, has a great (and stressful) experience talking at a TED meeting on the very subject of procrastination. Take the time to check it out, you will not be disappointed.

One of the best ways to gain momentum on a project is to simply start with the small manageable tasks. Completing tasks provide a feeling of control and accomplishment and will often motivate you to continue creating more positive outcomes.

Complete one step at a time with a time table
Big projects usually take big portions of time. Something I found myself saying in my high-school days went like this, “If I’d started the project two weeks ago, I’d be done by now.” When given a large task, plan accordingly. Allow for yourself the time to do the work piece by piece. Assign dates to each step and hold yourself accountable to the timeline you have set for yourself. As soon as you get the sense of accomplishment that comes from completing the first small task, you’re well on your way to the next task. By focusing on one small part of your big project each day, building on the positive outcomes, it doesn’t take long for the big project to become a manageable sized project, on the way to a nearly completed project and finally a done project.

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