Let's face it, we can all remember a time when it's felt impossible to make a start, overwhelmed by the magnitude of a task or project. Running a business can sometimes feel like juggling a thousand tasks at once, leaving small business owners feeling overwhelmed and struggling from procrastination.
When small business owners or employees procrastinate, it can lead to missed deadlines, decreased productivity, and ultimately decreased profits; as well as having a significant impact on health and wellbeing.
There are many reasons why an individual may procrastinate - Fatigue, burnout, too high-workload, lack of knowledge or skill to name a few... In our modern world, one of the main factors that contribute to procrastination is the human tendency to prioritise short-term rewards over long-term benefits. When faced with a task that requires effort and concentration, we often feel a sense of discomfort or anxiety, which can be relieved by engaging in more pleasurable activities, such as browsing socials, watching TV, completing an easier or more pleasurable task or even chatting with colleagues. Ever heard of the book 'Eat that Frog'? It's a MUST read!
Breaking down a big task into smaller, more manageable pieces can help to reduce feelings of overwhelm and make it easier to get started.
Here are some tip to follow when breaking down a big task:
Identify the overall goal: Begin by clarifying the objective of the big task. What is the end result that you want to achieve?
List the subtasks: Break down the big task into smaller, more manageable subtasks. Write each subtask down on a list or a mind map.
Prioritise the subtasks: Determine which subtasks are most important or urgent, and prioritise them accordingly. This can help you focus your energy and resources on the tasks that will have the greatest impact.
Assign deadlines: Set specific deadlines for each subtask. This can help you stay on track and ensure that you make progress toward your overall goal.
Estimate the time required: Estimate how much time each subtask will take. This can help you allocate your time effectively and avoid underestimating the effort required.
Plan the order of completion: Plan the order in which you will complete the subtasks. This can help you create a clear roadmap for getting the task done.
Monitor progress: Regularly check your progress against your plan. This can help you stay motivated and adjust your approach as needed. Hold yourself accountable!
By breaking down a big task into smaller, more manageable pieces and following these steps, you can make it easier to stay focused and make progress toward your goals and reduce overwhelm.
Do you need some help to think, plan and act more strategically? Would you like to feel more control and organised? Click here for our Focused Planning offer.
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About the author.
Hi, I'm Heather Beckett - the founder of BPO. I help small business owners to think, plan and act more strategically.