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7
Break It Down

Try breaking large projects into easier-to-manage chunks.

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Breaking large projects and unpleasant tasks into smaller action-items can be a great stress reliever. It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you have six major commitments looming. Your goal should be to take each project and divide it into manageable components. Then pick out the ones you can do today -- and actually do them.

One of the bonuses of this approach is that you can reward yourself for making progress. Accomplishing a small step is gratifying and helps keep up your morale during a major undertaking.

Breaking tasks into increments is important when you're faced with a chore you hate but need to get done. You can fight your tendency to procrastinate by taking a baby step -- devote 10 minutes to it, for example. That way, you've at least made a start, and you may find yourself continuing on to finish it.

This approach doesn't apply just at work. A goal like "I will improve my relationship with my brother" is vague and unlikely to yield results. "We'll get together for pick-up basketball on Saturday," on the other hand, is something you can put on your schedule and accomplish.

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