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. Earlier this week, I wrote about how making a plan for your job hunt is a big step in the right direction. You can’t get started on everything at once, so break it down and work on one thing at a time. My friend and 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!
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!)
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’ve had many clients who are so relieved to partner with an expert so they don’t have to worry if they are on the right track.) Learn how I can help you move ahead with your job hunt.
6.) Reward yourself. Celebrate your accomplishments. Do something fun!