Ever since I started preparing for my class on getting more done, I’ve been obsessed with what holds people back from doing what they want to do, or feeling good about their workday.
One of the biggest frustrations people have is that they just can't seem to get through their To Do list, no matter how hard they seem to focus.
After hearing this again and again, and looking close at what they actually PUT on their To Do list, I think I've discovered the problem:
There is a difference between tasks and projects.
A BIG DIFFERENCE.
It’s the difference between you feeling awesome and you feeling awful.
I go into detail about that distinction in my class, but I want to make sure you *get* it. No matter what system or process you use, you need to distinguish between a Project and a Task.
The difference between Tasks and Projects:
A task is a single thing that you can do in one session. A task might be labeling your products or making a single item.
A project is bigger and includes multiple tasks. It might be designing and printing new labels, or making enough items for a craft show.
(Answering a few emails: a task. Getting to Inbox Zero from Inbox Million: a project)
This is where a lot of people get overwhelmed. They try to work on big projects, without breaking them down into tasks. And for some people, this works. They don't have to think through breaking it down, their brain does it automatically. But for many makers and creatives, you can only see the big project and try to tackle it all at once. This is a recipe for overwhelm and feeling bad about your workday.
The solution: Just recognize the distinction!
Look at your list right now – is it full of projects?
Take a minute and break each project into its tasks!
P.S. If you want to be sure that you're breaking down the most important projects (the ones that will move you towards your bigger goal) into tasks, and that you actually DO all the tasks, check out the Map Making Guide. It walks you through this process, and includes an e-course, so you're prompted to work towards it, a bit at a time, over the course of a week.