"Whenever you can, divide problems into smaller and smaller pieces
until you're able to deal with them completely and quickly."
- Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
I have found that my brain doesn't handle big projects well. My mind stops functioning with the anticipation of all that I need to do. For some reason, breaking down a big project into tiny steps helps me mentally tackle what seem to be impossible or overwhelming projects.
I have found that if I set aside two hours to get a project done, it will take two hours (or more). If I give myself fifteen minutes then, seemingly miraculously, the task will be done in less than two hours (and closer to fifteen minutes). Short deadlines help your brain recognize what is vital to the project and what is 'fluff' content or information to leave out.
At night I outline three 5-minute tasks on a current project. Forcing myself to only do three 5-minute steps forces me to pick only the most important things to do. It helps me to prioritize.
When I have a last minute assignment with a pressing deadline, I still break down my first three steps. I complete them before mapping out the next three steps. Again, this tricks my brain into saying, "Anyone can do fifteen minutes!" rather than "I will be working on this all night."
I have done more on my projects since utilizing this system than ever before when I'd set aside 8-12 hours for a project. I even recently finished writing a book using the 5 minute step method.
What project feels overwhelming for you? What three small steps will you do in the next fifteen minutes?
1 Mar 2016
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Inspiration and ideas for your online projects.