When you're working on that big project, it always feels like the best time to go do the dishes, organise your sock drawer or check Facebook. To keep momentum going, break your big project down into the same size tasks as the ones that are distracting you.
Picture: John Blyberg
As tips blog Dumb Little Man points out, part of the reason we get distracted when trying to work on big tasks is because they're so big. If you break them down into little pieces, they get easier to work with:
The best solutions for getting started on anything big is to break it up into the small. And, do it quickly. This is a hard one for me. We have all had that project handed to us that we just know is going to be an absolute monster. We can project the mental output required to get it done, and it feels exhausting. So, what do we do? We take a peek at Instagram to see what's going on. We take a moment to browse Google News. We avoid it. Even if just for a little while.
The problem is that the longer we avoid it, the more heads the monster sprouts. At least that is how we perceive it in our mind's eye. Soon that project can be even more overwhelming than it was initially. Better to start breaking up that big project into smaller pieces right away before the additional heads start growing. Take a few minutes to think through that big thing. What are its component parts? What will be the real effort required? Write it down. Then start working on the easiest of those component parts first. The idea is that when you get the momentum rolling with a few quick wins, you will be better poised to tackle the hard thing next.
When the overwhelming work becomes something small you can focus on, it becomes much easier to tackle and your focused-brain can hone in on exactly what you need to do. Check out Dumb Little Man's post below for other ways to avoid distractions.