Chunk it down

Getting yourself started on a project can often be one of the hardest parts of actually completing that project. Especially when it comes to larger projects, the initial idea of the amount of time that it is going to take to complete that project can be just one of the insurmountable thoughts on how to actually get started.

There is a way to get around the mentality of, “this project is so big that i will never be able to get to the end.” This idea is to chunk your time down into smaller more manageable chunks. The concept can be compared to eating a birthday cake, no one reasonably tried to eat a whole cake in one bite, they first cut it into piece’s for each person, who then will often cut their piece into smaller mouth sized pieces.Taking this approach to eating a cake makes it a lot more managable for everyone and solves the problem of how to get a large cake into your relatively small mouth.

In the same vein this can work very well, for projects of any size, and works in a very similar fashion. For exmaple here maybe your project is to “Start a Business”. When you consider this as a project it seems like a huge undertaking and in reality what is starting a business, it is not a single task it is a series of many tasks. So you can take this main task and chunk it down into a number of more management tasks. Tasks such as Registering licenses, Writing a business plan, contacting potential suppliers, writing a marketing plan, and Other. This has suddenly taken one main project down to a level that gives you five better defined projects.

However even going to this level of having five better defined projects can be again chunked down. For example writing a business plan, may actually have some smaller goals that will help you get to the main goal sooner, such as. Personal plan, competitive analysis, financial projections, company summary, sales strategy, and any number of other main parts of your plan. Again each of these can be chunked down again if you feel that it could be beneficial to you to do so.

There are two primary ways that you can do chunking in a physcial written form, the first is with lists, where each level you chunk down you can indent a little further, to best see where each small chunk fits into the one large project. Your other option which allows for a little more flexibility in the way that you think, is to use mind mapping, which can be done either on paper or by using one of the tools available for the compute. The basic idea with mind mapping is that you start with a central idea and then interconnect your idea’s flowing out from each other. Expanding on both of these idea’s however is something for another post, which i hope will not be to far off.

How far you chunk your tasks down is entirely up to you. It will depend if you like having a short list with large tasks or if having a lot of small tasks. In reality whichever one you choose can be seen as being correct, because it is what works for you.

It is truly possible to chunk down just about every single thing that you do. While it may not be a matter of being able to cut it up into smaller chunks that you can do at different times it may be a matter of chunking down the job, to what appears as smaller more managable chunks but then still doing it all at once, but now you have a number of smaller milestones along the way that will help you see the job being completed.

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