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A mentor once told me that I create an impossible to scale mental wall around an objective because I quickly grasp its scope and, once I look at it as a whole, I become intimidated.
For example, at work I started marketing for multiple large clients. My objective is to increase their revenue steadily month-over-month. I’ve never done this before and results often lag by at least 30 days. I’m freaking out about this, because, previously, I’ve only ever worked on one client at a time.
This is often the cause of my gloominess on busy weeks.
The remedy is to “small-chunk.”
So in the case of working on my clients, I have to identify what needs to be (and can reasonably be) done in a month. Then I spend some time on my thinking couch, pondering process. These are both acts of idealism, and I used to stop at either one or the other and FREAK OUT.
Now I chunk them into weekly tasks. What comes before the other? What can I outsource? Is this really worth so much of my time or is there a better way? It’s a bit more manageable here, but weekly segments are still daunting.
My week next week, for example, involves designing 3 campaigns, doing outreach to 120 people, creating communications and publishing them for clients, refining a process for a major tool our company is going to start using, managing a weekly video project, and designing a training schedule for 4 employees who fit into two different roles.
So I chunk it down to days.
Monday, for example, I’ll start by vaguely outlining the training schedule, then I’ll design a campaign, do some outreach (taking notes on the process) and publish our weekly video.
That still sounds like a lot. I have a sticky note on my monitor that says, “Right now I am…” So, right now I am writing out my thoughts on small chunking. And, to the exception of all else including “emergencies,” I’m working on that one thing.
As a note on emergencies: instead of stopping and switching gears for other people’s moment-to-moment problems, I’ve been asking people to send me an email unless I decide that it actually is urgent. I should be doing this more.