Large goals and overwhelming tasks are only intimidating when you look at them in totality.
While this concept is probably not new to you, in my goal-setting workshops, I find that the practice it is rarely followed. For many, it seems to be too much of a bother or a waste of time. What they fail to see is that taking the time and bother to write down goals and break that down into manageable steps gives an enormous boost in progress toward a goal.
Perhaps you think you shouldn’t have to write down a goal such as “organize pantry.” It’s silly, I mean, it’s just a pantry. But if cleaning out the pantry is sitting on your to do list for weeks on end, it’s probably one of those tasks that seems overwhelming, whether that sounds reasonable or not.
If “organize pantry” is too much of a challenge or too much of a time commitment, how about one of these:
- Organize paper products
- Buy containers for dry goods
- Sort cleaning products by type
- Wipe down cereal shelf
Given that most of those just take a few minutes or can be done while on another errand, don’t they seem more manageable? You might not get the entire pantry cleaned out today, but having three of the 12 shelves organized is a good start.
If breaking down a goal into small pieces makes it more likely that you take action, then it’s worth the effort.
If you’d like to see my preferred method for managing projects of any size, read David Allen’s mythic Getting Things Done. He’s mastered the art of completing projects of any size by breaking them into bite-sized actions.
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