Have you ever made your to do list and immediately became overwhelmed with everything you had to do? Are their tasks that have been on your to do lists for weeks, months, or ever longer? Do you look at the amount of things you have to do and give up before you start?
Sometimes this is do to the sheer amount of things we have to do. We have too many things on our plate, have not set our priorities, are bad at saying no, or so many other hurdles we need work on.
Even is these things are in place, there is a way to help overcome this overwhelm. Basically, we need to review our To Do List and break it apart into Projects, Milestones, and Tasks.
What do these things mean?
A task is a piece of work to be done or undertaken. Basically, this is something fairly quick that can be finished in one “sitting”. It is a singular action usually – some may look at laundry as a task, but really you want to be more specific if possible like washing the clothes, folding the clothes, putting them away, etc.
A milestone is an important point in the progress or development of something. For me this is the middle ground, this is a bigger item to chew, it has a few steps or part involved. It is more than a task, but less than a project. Usually, it is an integral part of completing a bigger project and is made up of multiple tasks. Getting the laundry done is a milestone in the grander scheme project of cleaning the house.
A project is an individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim. Projects are our overarching goals that we want to accomplish. We have to be careful, however, to not make our projects too massive. For example organizing your entire house, may be too big of a project, you will probably want to break that down into smaller projects with multiple milestones, each with their own set of tasks.
So how do we put this to use?
Basically, we want to set out our project — Ideally, you will set your completion date for the project too. Figure out what your biggest sub-projects or milestones are. Then break those down into tasks. There should be due dates for all of the tasks, and if you are doing these projects with multiple people include who is responsible for the overall project being completed and who is responsible for accomplishing each task.
Relating this to our brain dump you would look through your list and pull out our big projects. Then you want to see if anything else on the list is related to this project as either a milestone (sub-project that needs to happen in order for this project to be considered complete) or tasks (simple jobs that are the stepping stones to completing projects).
When we can organize our thoughts into an order similar to that above we are much more likely to keep to task, be on time with our deliverable, and ensure we have accomplished every step of the process to complete our project.
When you look at a huge project – organize the garage, that seems like an overwhelming project that we will never accomplish. The key is to not look at it as a whole project, but to break it down into smaller projects, and then even smaller into quickly achievable tasks that bring us satisfaction, motivation, and momentum to keep going. This is directly in alignment with one of our TOP Organizing Tips.
If you have questions about how to make this work for you, how you set up a sheet like mine, or anything else related to productivity and organization please feel free to reach out! I would love to hear from you and assist you in any way I can.
Happily at your service,