Starting a new project can be overwhelming. It's easy to get bogged down by large tasks. Often, we find ourselves feeling stuck or unsure of where to begin. This is even more true in hybrid remote work, as we often can't quickly ask our colleagues or manager, especially if we practice asynchronous work.
Studies have shown that people perform better when they have written down what they need to do.
The first step to tackling any project is breaking it down into manageable and bite-sized tasks. Otherwise, large tasks can quickly become unconquerable. This can lead to frustration and decreased productivity.
In the era of AI technology, it is wise to utilize its capabilities to quickly and efficiently figure out where to begin your projects
Use Small Steps to Break Down the Project into Smaller Tasks
Effortlessly break down your project
Small Steps is a user-friendly and hassle-free tool that makes it easy to break down your project into smaller, more manageable tasks. You don't need to sign up or go through a complicated registration process to use such a handy tool.
Head to the only white box on Small Steps, simply enter your big project, such as "I want to build a landing page in 2 days," and watch the magic unfold!
SMART way to achieve your ultimate goals
Small Steps uses AI-powered algorithms to define tasks in a SMART way, making it easy for you to plan your work and take action toward your goal.
Drawing on millions of machine-learning data points, Small Steps provides task returns that are tailored to your goals, ensuring you break down big projects into Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound tasks.
Download your to-do list with ease
With the click of a button, you can easily download your to-do list from Small Steps. Seamlessly integrate it with your favorite task tracker or project planning tool to plan further and stay organized.
Set Timelines and Assignees for Each Task
Once you've got your tasks sorted out, the next thing to do is to consider the project's deadline and the dependencies between the individual tasks. This is crucial for effective task management.
Working with others can really help boost performance and make it easier to achieve goals that would be difficult to reach on your own.
It's important to assign tasks to people based on their skills, expertise, and availability, so you can balance the workload fairly. Managers and project owners should keep an eye on things to ensure everything goes smoothly.
Here's how to do it:
- Review the estimated time duration - Small Steps provides you with the estimated time duration needed for each task. Review this estimate to help you better plan your project.
- Prioritize your tasks - Decide which tasks are most important and prioritize them accordingly. Set timelines for each task based on their priority level.
- Delegate tasks - Assign tasks to willing team members, suitable collaborators, and/or relevant stakeholders. Ensure everyone is on the same page and accountable for their work.
- Review and adjust as needed - Review your progress regularly and adjust your timelines and assignees to help you stay flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances.
Platforms to Keep Track of Your Tasks
If you want to get more done and work better with others on your project, having a task tracker or a project planning tool is necessary. These tools can help you prioritize tasks, keep tabs on progress, meet deadlines, and excel in remote management.
>> Check out our list of the Best Task Tracker Tools for Managing Work Blockers if you need help picking the right one for your team.
If your project is complex and requires more detailed planning of resources and budget, you might want to consider using a project planning tool like Notion.
Some Tips Work Smarter, Not Harder
Alright, so now that you've got your project all broken down into manageable steps with Small Steps and are ready to start taking action.
But if you want to work smarter instead of harder, there are a few more tricks up our sleeve. These tips will help you be more productive and efficient, whether you're a team leader or working solo.
Allocate Your Energy
Apply the Two-Minute Technique to handle simpler tasks swiftly. If a task takes two minutes or less, do it right away. This strategy reduces your time spent on scattered pieces and clears your mind to focus on more important ones.
Besides, research suggests that tackling the most challenging tasks at the beginning of your day can lead to increased productivity and a sense of accomplishment. By facing difficult tasks head-on, you can conserve mental energy for the rest of your to-dos.
Task batching involves grouping similar tasks together and tackling them in dedicated time blocks. This approach helps minimize context switching, allowing you to maintain focus and work more efficiently.
For instance, if you have multiple emails to respond to, set aside a specific time period to address them all rather than constantly interrupt other tasks throughout the day.
Let's talk about the example of the "building a landing page in 2 days" project. You could dedicate one time block to designing the layout and structure, another to gathering and organizing visual assets and content, and then a separate block for coding and development.
By batching similar tasks, you can optimize your workflow and boost your productivity.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule and adhering to it is a smart move. According to Parkinson's Law, work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. By setting deadlines for your tasks, you create a sense of urgency that helps you concentrate and work more effectively.
And to really take things up a notch, use Google Calendar to divide up your day into time slots for different tasks or categories of work. This way you won't get sidetracked by distractions and can really dive deep into your work.
Combining both time management techniques (plus a little discipline!) will move you forward, stay focused, and not let work drag on forever. Establishing a productive rhythm that increases your productivity will set you up for success.
For new roles, or new employees, create a 30 60 90 day plan that schedules their priorities for the first months.
Contrary to popular belief, taking regular breaks actually enhances productivity. Our brains need time to rest and recharge to maintain optimal performance. Incorporating short breaks throughout your workday can significantly enhance your focus, prevent burnout, and ultimately boost your productivity.
Experiment with different break intervals, such as the Pomodoro Technique (working for a concentrated period followed by a short break), to find what works best for you. Just remember to step away from your work area during breaks to fully recharge and come back refreshed.
Support Your Team
Employee productivity is a hot topic these days, but whether you're tracking other, simply measuring yourself can be very enlightening. There are several free time management tools out there, which can help you track if you're spending your time effectively. To keep the team engage, ask them icebreaker questions before your next project planning discussion.
Start Small Today
The wise saying goes, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." It's often the first step that's the hardest, and that's where Small Steps comes in.
Don't let big, overwhelming tasks stand in your way. Start Small Steps to break them down into smaller, more manageable pieces. With its user-friendly and SMART AI-powered algorithms, Small Steps can help you plan your work and take action to reach your goals.
So, What's your big task today? Give Small Steps a try and see how easy it can be to accomplish more and work smarter.