This is Day 7 of the Advent Calendar for 2015. Open more doors here >> 

Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs” – Henry Ford

I don’t know if you remember an advert that was on the TV years ago for GCSE bitesize revision? It was all about not eating an elephant in one go, but eating it in chunks – bitesize pieces. A little bit of revision at a time and you’ll have learnt everything you need for your exam.

Splitting a big task down into a series of smaller tasks makes that big thing seem much more achievable. The small jobs are all a lot easier individually than the one big thing, you can see how you can do each task and you know what the goal is.

For example, Christmas is coming, so there’s a lot to prepare for isn’t there? There’s presents to buy, wrap and distribute, cards too, food to buy and a menu to plan, you might have visitors over which would have further organisation – maybe even extreme cleaning and decluttering might be needed – you have to buy the tree and get the decorations down, find a space for the tree, check that the lights work, put it all together, bake your Christmas cake well in advance (I hope you’ve done this – my Mam made mine this year!), work out what’s happening with your family so you have a plan for the day and know when to put the turkey in the oven so that it comes out at the right time, you might need to buy batteries and check that you know where the scissors are, make sure you have carrots and whisky in, work out where you’re going to put all the cards – there’s a lot involved in making sure that this one day of the year runs smoothly. At first thought it can look a little bit overwhelming, but broken down into chunks it’s a lot more do-able. I know people who have actually finished their Christmas shopping! (well done if this is you)


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In your business you might have one task that seems huge. It could be a project that you’re working on for a client or something that you’re doing for business development, perhaps a new product or service that needs to launch. One of my clients have just launched a new product and that will have taken a huge amount of organisation for the production, packaging, labelling, the launch, letting people know about it, licencing  – and a whole load of other things.  Another client has been increasing supply of items to Eastern Europe which must take a lot of planning with pallets, organising delivery, language difficulties, pricing and sourcing items, and another client has just made a huge move from New York back to Norway – talk about eating an elephant!

Breaking down something big into small, actionable steps is a great way to make your goals more realistic and show you how you’re going to make them happen. As Henry Ford says, it isn’t “particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs”.


In the comments: What big goal do you have that you could split into bitesize chunks?

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