Time Management Tip: Split big projects into smaller pieces
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
That’s either a really terrible joke or one of those cheesy business sayings that I’ve heard far too often to care about – but the idea? It’s pretty solid. My friend Angela and I like to assume it’s a very large chocolate elephant, which somehow makes the idea of the big, overwhelming project not only more manageable, but appealing! Most of my day-to-day work is made up of many little tasks, from responding to emails to taking my daughter to soccer practice. But occasionally I’ll look at my list and realize I have a really huge project looming that feels far to big to handle. Over the summer that project was my book. Writing 55,000 words felt impossible for this gal who typically struggles to write blog posts that are longer than 500 words.
So I broke it down into small bites. I put big bright pink post it notes on my wall for each chapter, and then broke each chapter down into stories, Scripture, and reflection sections so I could keep track of what I was writing about. Then I tackled each chapter like it was it’s own project with a goal to write one chapter per week. Those felt like long blog posts with clear structure that made it easier for me to focus and get the work done. When it was all put together, I’d not only met my word count goal but finished it two months before the due date.
If you have a big project on your list this week, take some time to figure out how you can break your chocolate elephant down into smaller, bite sized pieces. Set goals for each section, and see if there are any parts that you could invites others to use their gifts to help you out. All of these time management tips on their own are good, but when we start to put them together, we become incredibly effective Kingdom builders.
Inspiration: “When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED.” ― Dr. Seuss
Resource: What Should I Read Next podcast
This podcast has nothing to do with time management, but it’s one of my favorites to listen to as I work. Anne Bogel has a lovely voice and the concept of her show – asking readers to list three books they love, one book they hate, and what they’re reading now so she can give them three new books to try – feels organized and effective. In a way, Anne has taken the big elephant of “What should I read next?” and split it into smaller bites so she can get to know the reader and make really specific recommendations. Plus, she has her own book out now called (aff) “Reading People” and it’s all about personality styles and reading which I LOVE.