Mar 1, 2009

Eliminate Mistakes and Take These Tips to Accomplish Your Goals

There are just too many things to do in an average day. It seems like there's always some monster of a project or problem staring at you, and you have no idea how to handle it. The worst days are when the monster gets itself a posse, and they all come after you at once.

But then there's that person we all seem to know who is never ruffled by problems like this. Their life is calm, collected, and they never 'wig-out.' How do they do it? How do they look all those monster-projects in the face and laugh as they sweep them away?

Different people have different methods of dealing with scenarios like this, but some methods work no matter who you are and what the project is. One of these anyone-can-implement-it methods is to break your projects down into manageable pieces.

Too many people allow themselves to fill their to-do list with large, rather vague projects. 'Clean the House.' How many of us have written that one down, only to have the house look just the same a week later? Or for businesses, something like, 'Increase Productivity.' These are too big. They allow too much room for wondering where to start. You'll find yourself staring at your cluttered house or office, mind blank, until you decide to go do something else.

Breaking projects down into bite-sized pieces is easy, and this is where you really start personalizing it. For some people, deciding to focus on the living room before moving on to anything else is enough of a starting place. But if you're still stumped, maybe you need to focus on picking everything up off the floor first thing. Whatever it is, narrow it down until you have a starting point that really does get you started. Even if you have to break the list down into pieces like 'dust lamp' or 'reorganize pencil-holder', do it. If it helps you to complete your task, that's all that matters.

While you are breaking these things up, write them down! I really can't stress that enough. If you try to keep your to-do list in your head, all the little pieces will eventually conglomerate themselves back into 'Clean the House' and you'll be right back where you started.

One major plus to breaking down your projects and lists like this is that you can rejoice in every little victory. Now instead of feeling bad because you didn't 'Clean the House' or 'Increase Productivity', you can feel great because you managed to cross off half a dozen little things. Maybe you didn't clean the whole house, but you cleaned the entire living room by breaking the room down into a dozen smaller chunks. Or you reorganized your desk and file cabinet, allowing yourself to find things easier. Also, multitasking sounds great, but often it is more of a distraction than a help. Focus on one project; get it out of the way, then move on to something else.

By breaking down your projects into small, manageable pieces that provide you with a very clear starting point, you increase your chances of getting your projects done. You also boost your moral by accomplishing lots of little things that amount to big things. It's way better than not getting anything done at all because the monster and his posse ate you alive.

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