#8 Break into smaller tasks

Coming in at number 8 in our top 10 ways to make your move or downsize easier is “Break larger tasks down into more manageable and practical pieces.” Accomplishing a large project like moving or downsizing can be overwhelming if you view it as a whole. When the job is broken down into smaller pieces, it becomes more manageable.

Consider the hypothetical Smith Family. The Smith kids have all moved out, so Mr. and Mrs. Smith now face the task of downsizing from their large family home to a smaller place. This is a large task to take on all at once, but it can easily be tackled in pieces.

At the start, the Smiths identify different projects that need to be accomplished like downsizing a bedroom, the attic, and the garage. These “projects” are really large groupings of individual tasks which can be further divided into their component steps. To keep track of all these parts, the Smiths write out the list of steps. This method allows them to evaluate if the tasks need to be completed in a specific order and provides a great record for identifying which tasks have been accomplished and which ones are still left to do.

One of the projects is downsizing the attic, so the Smiths write out the following steps: sort through photo boxes, gather children to go through their collections, donate all the camping gear, recycle old paints, etc. With the list complete, the Smiths pick one and begin. Donate camping gear. Check. Sort through photo boxes. Check… The Smith’s list relieves them from having to remember everything and allows them to focus on the task at hand. Box by box, shelf by shelf, the Smith do a small amount each day as they work towards their goal.

As simple as the example of the Smiths may be, it shows how easy it is to make a daunting task more manageable by conquering it in smaller pieces. So when the process of downsizing or moving seems to be looming on the horizon and appears too big of a process to handle, remember what Mark Twain said: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”

Coming next month… #7 Plan out your space
© Beth Giles 2019

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