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Don't Procrastinate — Chunk It!

If you have a deadline for a project, it's easier to break it down into chunks, determine how many chunks you need to do each week (or day) to reach the finish line on time, estimate how long each chunk will take, and put those chunks on your calendar (schedule it). You've read my messages about taking small steps every day to work on clearing your space or sorting through your paper piles. I've encouraged you to commit to 15 minutes every day (or 10 minutes or 37 minutes twice a week, if you prefer), but this month I challenge you to focus on breaking down your project into chunks. For example: If you are clearing out the spare room to make into a relaxing guest room by the winter holidays, you could chunk the room into more manageable actions spread out over a time period you set.

  • You could chunk the room into sections (the closet, the bed, that back corner, the dresser, etc.) and commit to working on a section each week. Hint: the smaller the items you're sorting, the smaller the chunk should be. The closet filled with board games may have fewer decisions than that drawer filled with knickknacks.

  • You could chunk the project by quadrants (the front left, the back left area, the back right, and the front right) and commit to sorting, clearing, and organizing a quadrant a month. If you can break it down into smaller chunks, do it.

  • You could also count up the boxes, bags, and containers, and divide by the number of weeks you have until your guests arrive. Then set your goal to go through that number of boxes or bags each week.

You can certainly set a goal of working on a project a set number of hours each week, but sometimes you need to break it into chunks that measure concrete progress towards your goal. If you're writing a book, then chunking your writing into five thousand words a week, 300 words a day, or a chapter every session are excellent alternatives to keep you moving forward. Chunking a project and spreading it out over the time you have available (remember when you need to cross that finish line with a completed project) can apply to clearing out a garage, completing that project at work, setting up a guest room, reading (or writing) a book, and even turning those piles of papers into organized information you can easily access. To recap the steps to chunking a project:

  • break the project down into chunks. This can be pages, chapters, boxes, tasks,

words, or whatever works for you. (chunks)

  • identify the deadline, finish line or due date

  • determine how many days, weeks, or months that gives you (time)

  • divide the chunks by the time and you have how many chunks you need to do each week, day, or month

  • schedule it

  • do it

  • celebrate it! Celebrate every chunk done because that will motivate you to do the next chunk, and the next.

What project, goal, or dream will you chunk (and achieve) to this month?

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