We all have them, those big looming projects that despite how much you want to get them done, seem impossible to tackle. Here are four tips to help you work through those daunting tasks.
Regardless of the task, the most important step is the first one. Big or small, taking that first step starts the snowball effect toward completion. So even if you are unsure of exactly how the whole project is going to be accomplished, just take that first step. Just getting started often offers clarity on how the rest of the project will go. For example, it may shed light on a realistic timeline, or help you better understand what the cost will be.
Break Projects Down
From there you can start breaking the task or project down into small, more manageable daily pieces. You won’t write your first book in one sitting, but you may able to break it down by chapter, idea, segment, etc. until you have daily goals to accomplish on your way to the bigger task of completing the book. The same goes for many other types of projects. It is important to be realistic in these daily goals. Set too lofty a goal and your timeline will be pushed back over and over again. Set too small a goal and it will take much longer than necessary to accomplish the task. Find a spot somewhere in the middle where you can still accomplish your other daily tasks but you are having to push just a little harder to get through the days work on the project at hand.
Track and Reward
Keep track of your progress and incorporate rewards throughout the process. This may seem childish at first, but it is an exceptional way to stay motivated when you are tempted to slack off or take a break from the project. Some great rewards might be a built-in day off, or a chance to work on something less grueling. Other great rewards might be completely non-work related like a nice dinner out, or a weekend trip. Find what motivates you and use that to help propel yourself forward toward the completion of the task.
Remind Yourself Why
It is also helpful when things start to drag to remind yourself why this task is so important. Maybe it’s a new product launch, or revamping your service packages. Maybe it is a facelift for your website, or perhaps your whole brand. Whatever it is, there is an important reason why it was worth your time to start and why it is worth it to finish the task. Keep this written down and close by as a reminder of what you will gain when the project is completed. Just like the rewards through the process, staying motivated by remembering the desired outcome will help you stay on task throughout the process.
With these tactics of taking the first step and getting started, breaking the task down into smaller pieces, incorporating rewards for progress and keeping reminders of why it is important close at hand, you will get those big tasks completed. Stay committed, stay on course and work to develop the disciplines so that these strategies become second nature when handling projects.