Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks

Break down tasks into more manageable chunks

I can almost guarantee that you’ve heard this advice before, and as far as business tips go, it might feel like a no-brainer. Too simple to actually be useful even. But what I’ve noticed, both for myself, and amongst my clients, is that breaking things down into manageable chunks doesn’t come naturally and often it doesn’t happen at all.

And unfortunately, there’s nothing quite like a big, ungainly project or idea to keep you in task paralysis!

There’s so much value in taking the time to break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks when it comes to productivity and task management. Here are a few reasons why it is beneficial:

Overcoming Overwhelm

Large projects can be overwhelming, especially for individuals with ADHD. Breaking them down into smaller tasks makes them feel more approachable and less daunting. It helps to reduce anxiety and allows you to focus on one step at a time.

Added Clarity & Focus

When you have a clear breakdown of tasks, it becomes easier to understand what needs to be done. Each smaller task has a specific objective, making it easier to focus on the immediate action required without feeling daunted by the big picture.

Improved Time Management

Smaller tasks are easier to estimate in terms of time required for completion. Breaking down projects helps you allocate time more effectively and prioritise tasks based on their urgency and importance. It helps combat procrastination and ensures a steady workflow.

Increased Motivation & Momentum

Completing smaller tasks provides a sense of achievement and progress along the way. This boosts motivation and keeps you engaged with the project. It creates a positive feedback loop where the completion of each task fuels your motivation to move forward.

So now you know why it’s useful, let’s explore the how!

Here are some tips to help with breaking the big stuff down into smaller chunks:

🎯 Define the main goal

Clearly identify the ultimate objective of the bigger task or project. Having a clear goal in mind will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the process.

🪜 Know the steps

Often what holds back from breaking things into smaller chunks is that we have no idea what those chunks are! I speak with clients all the time who have a big idea they want to action, like launching an online course, building a website, or starting a podcast, but when we come to the first step they are at a complete loss. This is where a tool like Goblin Tools Magic To Do can help. It uses AI to breakdown big stuff for you so you don’t have to spend hours figuring out all of the steps yourself.

📝 Create your initial task list

Spend some time to divide the large task up into smaller, actionable items. Write them down in a task list or use a digital task management tool. Ideally these tasks will be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) and each will be a single step.

🔍 Break it down further if needed

If a subtask still feels too big or overwhelming, or has multiple steps, break it down even further into smaller steps. The idea is to create bite-sized actions that feel manageable and less intimidating.

📊 Use visual aids

Visualise your tasks using tools like mind maps, flowcharts, or Kanban boards. These visual representations can help you see the overall structure of the task and track your progress which is great if you’re a visual processor.

🙏 Ask for help

If you find it challenging to break down tasks on your own, consider seeking support from a mentor, coach, or accountability partner. They can provide guidance and help you break down tasks effectively so you can get out of your head and start making progress.

🥳 Don’t forget to celebrate your milestones!

Acknowledge and rejoice in your achievements as you complete each subtask. Rewarding yourself along the way can boost motivation and make the process more enjoyable which will help you in establishing the process as a new habit.


GoblinTools is a collection of small, simple, single-task tools, mostly designed to help neurodivergent people with tasks they find overwhelming or difficult. Their Magic ToDo tool will break big things down for you which is especially helpful when you don’t know what steps are involved and that’s keeping you stuck! It’s totally free and you can try it right now.

Remember, everyone’s approach to task management may vary, so it’s a good idea to experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you. The key is to have tasks on your list that you can actually do. Small, manageable steps that will keep you engaged and motivated throughout the process while providing clarity on how you will make your bigger goal happen.

Until next time,

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