Do you ever find yourself putting off important tasks to the last minute or failing to make a change that on another level you feel really keen to make?

One of the most common reasons for procrastination of this type is that the task seems to big – there is so much involved, we feel overwhelmed, as if we can’t possibly manage it, or perhaps we just don’t know where to start.

If you find yourself in this situation, ‘chunking down’ can help you to make the task more manageable. Chunking down means breaking the task into small, easily-achievable segments – with each segment taking you closer to completing the task.

To begin chunking down, jot down the individual ‘mini-tasks’ you need to achieve to complete the overall task. Once it’s all written down it will seem much more manageable, and you will have a more realistic idea of exactly how much time will be needed to complete the whole task. We often over-estimate the time needed when thinking about the whole task, because it looms so ‘large’ in our mind.

Similarly, our life goals can also seem overwhelming. They may require a huge amount of change, or they may be a long way from where we are now, with many barriers and hurdles to overcome before we reach them. We can make them much more manageable by breaking them down into small, achievable tasks – and at the same time, take a much more realistic view of exactly what we need to do to achieve them.

Once you have decided on your big, long-term, goals, the next stage is to break each one down into medium and short-term goals.

There are several ways to figure out the steps you need to take to accomplish a particular goal. One is to consult with people who have already done what you want to do and to ask what steps they took. Another way is to buy a book or manual that outlines the process. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – look at the journeys of other people who have already achieved your goal and and take advantage of the lessons from both their mistakes and the things they got right, to make your own journey faster.

Remember that you can ask for guidance or advice if you need it, too; you don’t need to struggle on alone. Make a deliberate decision to identify the most appropriate and useful sources of advice for your particular goals, profession or interests – sometimes you will be able to find advice for free, for instance, from a workplace mentor or online resources such as videos and interviews, but at other times you may need to pay for it. Many people have a ‘block’ about paying for support or advice, whether from a mentor, coach, training course, or even a’tool’ that will help them to achieve their goal much faster. Good quality support or advice is always worth paying for – it will repay you many times over, and not only in helping you to reach your goals much faster than otherwise. To achieve your goals quickly, ensure that you identify exactly what type of support or advice you need, and then find the best you can afford.

When I first launched my business I went on a lot of free training courses from Businesslink {now defunct} and they were very good for helping me to put in place the practical skills I needed, and building up my knowledge of things like tax, VAT and legislation. But there was still something missing. I eventually realised that is was my mindset, I had two business partners who were fairly downbeat, not to say gloomy at times, the business was barely struggling along, and I was getting to the point where I dreaded going into the office each day … it took me 2 years to decide to pay for a Tony Robbins course, The Ultimate Edge, which was just fantastic for me. I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it really helped me to stay optimistic and look realistically and positively at the business (and every other aspect of my life) – what we needed to do and how we could achieve growth. It was quite a leap of faith, because it was a lot of money for me at the time, but sometimes, you do need to be prepared to invest in yourself. I was pretty sure Tony was the right choice for me, because I’d spent months listening to free audios and watching his videos on Youtube… since then our business has transformed and our profits have grown dramatically.

Julie Stanton

So investigating sources of information, deciding on realistic short and medium term goals, and learning more about how other people have achieved the same goals are all key aspects of your journey towards success. Investing in yourself is always worthwhile.

Do This Today

One of the simplest and most effective steps towards success involves planning out the next day the night before. This is an incredibly simply strategy but can have a powerful effect, because:

  • If you plan your day the night before – making a to-do list and spending a few minutes visualising exactly how you want the day to go – you subconscious mind will work on the tasks all night long. It will think of creative ways to solve any problem, overcome any obstacle and achieve your desired outcomes.
  • By creating your to-do list the night before, you can start your day running. You know exactly what you’re going to do and in what order, and you’ve already pulled together any material you need. If you have five phone calls to make, you would have them written down in the order that you plan to make them, with phone numbers next to the person’s name and all the support materials at hand. By mid-morning, you would be way ahead of most people, who waste the first hour of the day clearing their desk, making lists, finding the necessary paperwork – in short, just getting ready to work!