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Dreading a Big Task? Here’s Why You Need to Chunk It Down

Everyone has workplace duties they need to deal with on a regular basis, not to mention personal chores, that are are none too fun to start with.

But, it's one thing to power through with a meeting when you really aren't in the mood, or to turn up to work on a morning when you feel exhausted and a bit ill, and it's another thing altogether to see a major project or task through from start to finish, when it's likely to take you weeks, if not months, if not years to complete.

These kinds of big tasks often inspire a feeling of dread. But, it's the ability to effectively tackle these long-term professional goals that sets successful entrepreneurs apart from unsuccessful ones, to a large extent.

Luckily, there is an effective way of getting those tasks done, and restoring some of your emotional harmony, too.

Simply put: take the big task, and chunk down into many smaller subtasks that you can then focus on systematically. Perhaps, you need to embark on a major UX Research campaign In order to completely overhaul your business, to enhance user performance. This task may seem like a major headache at the outset, but if you were to chunk down and start with identifying a good usability testing platform to help streamline the overall project, suddenly things would seem much more achievable.

Here are a few reasons why chunking those big tasks down is the way to go.

Because it helps you to identify the actual roadmap you need to follow

If you've got a major task or project that you need to get done, it's very likely that you won't actually know how to go about getting it done at the outset.

It's just difficult for our minds to wrap themselves around massive undertakings, with all sorts of moving parts.

When you actually start chunking down that big project into smaller and smaller subtasks, though, the roadmap begins to reveal itself to you.

Maybe the only first step you can think of is something like “research this thing on the web.” But once you've completed that small task, the next step will come into clearer focus. And the next one. And before you know it, you'll be done.

Because it's infinitely easier to motivate yourself to perform small tasks, one by one

It's always tempting to take the path of least resistance and just procrastinate over painful errands. You probably know the joke “I had so much to do, I took a nap.”

When you chunk those big undertakings down into a variety of small tasks, it's much easier to tackle them one by one, without feeling like you'd rather do anything else in the world.

In fact, it can be a good idea to chunk the task down into the smallest possible units. If each subtask takes you about an hour or less to complete, all the better.

Because it removes a lot of your excuses

Excuses come naturally when you are faced with a monolithic job that you really don't want to work on.

“I just don't have the time right now, this would take way too long,” “I'm too tired right now to do all that,” “I need to walk the dog,” and any number of other excuses are likely to seem really plausible to you when you're in the situation.

But when you only have to commit to handling a small sub task at a time, those excuses become a lot more ridiculous, and a lot harder to defend.

So, break things down into smaller pieces, lose your excuses, and get productive.

About the author, Mark

Mark Asquith is a serial entrepreneur who has built globally successful design, marketing, software and digital businesses since he quit his real job in 2005.

A passionate podcaster, global keynote speaker and helpful bloke, Mark is the co-founder of Podcast Websites and the creator of Excellence Expected. He has a terribly embarrassing beard.

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