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The Building Blocks of Success: Tackle Projects Bit by Bit

The Building Blocks of Success: Tackle Projects Bit by Bit

We all have big goals and aspirations.

But sometimes, the sheer size of the effort can feel overwhelming. 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Lao Tzu

We often underestimate the scope of a task and set unrealistic expectations for ourselves.

Sending a newsletter post may seem like a single action.

In reality, it is a series of steps. This might include researching a topic, outlining the structure, writing the content, editing, and sharing on social. A newsletter is a small project, not a single task on your list.

Different steps in a process require different cognitive efforts.

Ideas require:

  • Creativity and imagination are associated with increased prefrontal cortex and right brain hemisphere activity.
  • Divergent thinking involves generating multiple ideas and solutions and is associated with activating the frontal and temporal regions of the brain.

Writing requires:

  • Focus and attention are associated with the activation of the prefrontal cortex.
  • Language processing and memory recall involve activating multiple brain regions, including the temporal, parietal, and frontal lobes.

Editing requires:

  • Attention to detail and cognitive flexibility are associated with the activation of the prefrontal cortex and parietal lobes.
  • Error detection and correction involve the activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, a region of the brain that monitors and regulates cognitive control.

Recognise the different cognitive efforts required for each step

  1. Identify the task that’s causing you stress.
  2. Write down all the steps required to complete the task.
  3. Break the task into smaller subtasks.
  4. Focus on one clear cognitive effort required for each subtask.
  5. Aim to complete a subtask in a single session.

Many tasks are small projects requiring different levels of cognitive effort. 

Tackle tasks more efficiently and effectively by breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable subtasks with one clear cognitive effort required for each. Small actions build momentum and move you closer to your goals, one step at a time.

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