Tips for Breaking Large Projects into Smaller ones

In a word: CHUNKING.

“Chunking” is a term for clumping small parts of a project into sections to be dealt with little by little. This type of scheme is flexible, so it can work for every personality type. If you like to move when the spirit strikes you, you just get out your ‘chunk sheet’ and start working. Like to be orderly? Work your ‘chunk sheet’ in order, striking off 1,2,3,4 in order. Like to work each section as you find yourself ‘in the mood’? That works too! Just get out that ‘chunk sheet’ and strike off 4,8,2,1,3 and so on. That’s why this system is so great, it is versatile and fits anyone’s schedule or personality.

To plan this out, look at the project as a whole, only mentally preparing to examine and determine. That may take you 15 minutes or 2 days, depending upon the job/assignment and/or time constraints. Again, the beauty of this system is the adaptability. YOU make the determination of when this stage is done.

After you determine WHAT your desired outcome should be or look like, begin to write out HOW you will develop it. You don’t need to ‘chunk’ just yet, as you are just laying the groundwork to decide what all needs done.

After this stage, you can begin to formulate your ‘chunk sheet’. Again, this is flexible to what your comfort level is. No one is going to make you ‘think outside the box’, here, for it is YOUR box and your timetable! Attack the chunks as you feel comfortable. The only ‘rule’ is that you make chunks of ‘duties’ and number them. When you complete a ‘chunk’, strike it off. Don’t obliterate the writing, just put a simple line through it, or X out the number. But you need to physically ‘strike it off’ as this gives you a tangible reality of how much you have accomplished, and a road map of what is yet to come. It also gives you psychological satisfaction to watch your progress in a literal fashion.

As you are working on your project, focus on one chunk at a time. Remember, you created the chunks, so they won’t ever be unfamiliar or too much. You can get it done at the pace you determine, within the constraints you have been given. You can move in order, as I said, or skip around. For fun, feel free to insert things like, breaks, walks outside, kisses from significant others or stopping to smell the roses!

Chunking allows you to put the project in manageable terms. Kind of like how I felt about labor when I had my children. I could put up with ANYTHING for just one minute! Even labor pains. It works. Move and manage your chunks as you see fit. Want to arrange it so you can do one a day for a week? Go for it! Feel like burning the midnight oil on Wednesday? Do it! Feeling creative at 1AM? Get out that chunk sheet and work it! With each strike, you will feel a real sense of accomplishment.

This is a versatile and user friendly system. Adapt it to your needs, following the basic program. I will wish you good luck, but with this system, you will hardly need it!