In a world where there are very large projects and many of them, in a world for people have hundreds of tasks and a ton of things to do, the question is how do we get it all done. As I have discussed in a previous post regarding priorities, it is not always possible to get everything done. This is when we do need to set priorities. This is also not always cut and dry; however, there are tasks that are quick and urgent and while there are large projects that are not urgent at the moment, but cannot be put off until the due date or even a couple of days before.
School is a perfect example of this. There are those assignments that are due the next day but are small and relatively quick. For example, a set of math problems to practice whatever mathematics studied in class, as a reinforcement. Then there are research papers, group projects, and final exams. These are all longer term commitments that cannot (or at least should not) be done the day or night before. A large project around the house, at work, or even leisure activities like reading a book are considered longer term projects. So, now that you have a large project on your hands, there are few to go about this
- Take care of a few unrelated small tasks first. This could be anything that will get you moving such as going through a few emails, a quick chore like taking out the trash, or anything else that is 5 minutes or less. Do a few of these quick tasks first to make you feel productive and get a momentum going.
- Break down projects into manageable tasks. One large project is very intimidating. This can cause you to procrastinate and not get it done efficiently, or at all if it is not extremely important. Let’s take cleaning the house as an example. For example, let’s say a room or perhaps a garage or basement has over 500 items in it that may belong to various people. This cannot be done in a day. Break it down to maybe either corners of a room, by person it belongs to, or whatever else is logical to the situation.
- Plan in advance. Lay out your plan and make a schedule for what you will need to do. Back to the example of cleaning out your house, having the right people who need to be there to decide on their belongings, going according to trash schedules and donating to goodwill, giving away, and how to sort out the objects and where to keep everything flowing efficiently.
Sticking to smaller tasks will help you get what you need to get done effectively. This really does help me personally and I can attest to it. Although the total tasks for the day can frequently exceed 100, having them in manageable bites gives a clear picture of the project. As the common saying goes, “The longest journey begins with a single step”, accomplishing big projects is best done in small bites.