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The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” – Mark Twain, in The Success Principles, by Jack Canfield

It seems obvious – you can’t be successful until you get started.  You can’t get started on everything at once, so break it down and work on one thing at a time. My friend who is a business coach, Cindy Petersiel, introduced me to a term that describes this basic, yet important idea: “chunk it down.” (Although, I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of the term itself. Something about the word chunk doesn’t appeal to me. The concept, however, is very sound!)

As a career coach, I advise my clients to “chunk down” their tasks so they won’t be overwhelmed by the process of finding a job. It’s great advice for any of us facing lots to do and not enough time. (That pretty much describes most people I know!)
Some tips for “chunking it down:”

1.) Review your assignments and goals.
Create a list of everything you need to do. Make sure you have a complete picture of the tasks and create a time frame.

2.) Break down the project into natural segments.
“Write a resume” may be one project. “Make a networking plan” is another task. Prioritize the segments and think about how much time each piece will take to complete.

3.) Focus on one thing at a time.
Compile a daily “to do” list. Make sure it is reasonable; don’t give yourself too many tasks on one day. Depending on the job and your patience, you may need to further chunk down the steps. (No one should expect to write a resume in a day!)
To decide what to do first, consult your list of priorities. To keep your focus, try to include some fun, interesting or simple tasks early on. If you’re doing things you enjoy or finish rapidly, you’ll give your project a boost and quickly check things off of your “to do” list.
4.) Plan ahead.
Make sure you have everything you need to work on your task as scheduled.
5.) Seek help.
It helps to have a good support system. Ask for advice when you’re really stuck and to ensure that you are on the right track.
I have great news for you! Help is on the way! My friend and colleague, Hannah Morgan (@careersherpa) and I have created a guide to job search like you have never seen!
It’s our new eBook, You Need a Job, 5 Steps to Get One. It is an end-to-end guide to how to get a job: 29 chapters outlining the five things you need to do to succeed in every step of your job hunt. When you are among the first to buy a copy, you’ll also get some extra special bonuses…Keep an eye on this blog for details…We will be launching on June 11th!
Remember: nothing happens until you take action, and we are guaranteeing that you will learn important tips from our book – or your money back!
Don’t miss Hannah’s post today: Time is money – speed up your job search.
Stay tuned for more tips to get you off on the right foot as Hannah and I prepare to share our book with you!
Photo by prodigaldog

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