It’s a quote you (and I) have deep in your brain. I don’t know why…
Big things seem unfathomable to you.
A big elephant is a big elephant, no matter how you look at it.
Don’t feel guilty. We all think that way.
The point is this: to achieve fulfillment in life and give sense to your existence, you need to accomplish “big” things. Projects which you feel proud of. Especially if you are an entrepreneur.
So, what do you do? How do you manage this situation?
I wondered why I (as you do) felt that way and looked for a solution to this issue.
Along my journey, I discovered something. I didn’t feel that way when talking about small things.
I was able to manage small things, no matter how many of them I had.
That took me to break things down. If I had to break a project into 1 million small little tiny pieces, I would do it.
But that’s kind of overwhelming too.
Thinking about the time it will take you that “breaking process” will drive you to cancel the project directly.
I took another way
I decided to break the project into big stages.
That’s much more easier.
All projects can be broken down into stages.
It’s very clear and easy for our brains to think, “I have to do this, later on, I have to do that…”.
It also helps me a lot to think about deliverables. Things I want (or need) to have after each stage.
For instance, if you want to construct a building, you first have to look for a place to build it.
Using coherence, you will find out all the main stages of any project.
As human beings, we’re excellent at imagining a sequential process to create something.
Don’t go into details. Draw big lines.
Those stages will have an order to be executed.
Just focus on the first one and forget about the rest. They don’t matter at all at this point.
Manage the first stage
Now you’re kind of released.
Your big project is much more smaller. You’ve moved one step forward.
It’s starting to feel manageable. You’re feeling more comfortable.
Focus on this first stage.
Is it too big? If it’s so, repeat the process again.
Iteration is always key in life!
Now, you have a stage that you can control. It’s not overwhelming. Let’s move forward again.
Start thinking about all the tasks you need to complete this first stage.
Forget about the order, duration, when they should be done. Just write them all down.
Leave your brain empty. Feel that amazing sensation of freedom.
Now, you’re on fire!
You want more!
You see a solution to your big elephant!
You’re starting to see the end of the tunnel!
Again, these tasks will have an order, a sequence to execute them.
Please, order them.
Focus on your first task
Now, again, forget about all the tasks. If you created 200, you will feel much better throwing 199 away!
Look at the first task.
How long do you estimate it will take you to complete it?
I always use one rule. I don’t want tasks that last more than 2–3 hours.
Why is it so?
Because today it’s not easy to be able to focus on something for 6–7 hours in a row.
You have interruptions: mails, calls, slacks, WhatsApp messages, you lose our focus, you get tired…
You have to protect your time, but it’s not easy to disappear for 7 hours nowadays, isn’t it?
It’s the environment in which you’re living unless you’re a genius or a hermit. Let’s accept it.
Break your first task down
2–3 hours is still a long time. Let’s make it easier!
Break your first task down into much more smaller tasks.
It’d be great if you could break it down into “small little tiny” to-do’s.
Again, order sequentially those to-do’s.
Focus on your first to-do
Now you’re just focusing your attention on the pinky fingernail of your big elephant.
You don’t care at all about his head, his trunk, his body…
You’re just looking at this little tiny piece of information.
How the hell can you not do it?
Of course you will. Maybe your to-do is such small that you can even do 2 or 3 more.
The key is doing every day, at least one of your to-do’s. I’ll tell you why.
With this system, you will kill two birds with one stone.
Why do I recommend you to do, at least, one of your to-do’s every day?
Because that’s how you’ll become a winner.
When you start enjoying victories day by day, that flood of victories will drive you, without hesitation, to success.
Each victory will add a new dose of energy to start doing “the next to-do”.
You’ll feel like a winner, feeling you’re progressing, you’re getting closer to your goal.
You won’t be able to stop this loop. You’ll keep on doing, and doing, and doing.
Doing is how you achieve things in life. At least, it’s the only way I know.
This system is also perfect to avoid procrastination.
You will break your project down into such little tiny pieces that it’ll be impossible to say: “I cannot do this”.
Even the laziest person in the world would say: “Man, I gotta do this”.
You won’t have any excuses because they won’t exist.
Avoiding procrastination is also how things move forward.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a big step or a small one because all steps count in life.
You’re getting closer to your goal, and that’s what matters and motivates you.