Sometimes tasks are big, really big. It’s easy for me to add a task to my todo list saying “Gain 100 new customers”, but when I sit down for the day I am stumped on how to get started. Once I do get started, I find myself distracted halfway through. If you find this happening to you, I have a method to help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Yesterday I was working on updating our Facebook Ad campaigns and found myself getting distracted after every little thing I did. I’d open up Facebook Business to login, then get distracted by a personal notification. I’d eventually make my way back, open up a past campaign and review the results. Good, but there was room for improvement. Then I’d get an email ding from a vendor I’ve been waiting to hear from. Sweet, let me just reply real quick. Wait what was I doing? Right, Facebook Ads. Now what do I need to do to update them?
I planned to tackle a large task, but didn’t define what I needed to do to complete it upfront. My task to “Update Facebook Ad Campaigns” actually consisted of a half dozen smaller tasks. I found myself trying to make up the next step once I finished the last. This uncertainty created room for distraction.
Large tasks are actually made up of dozens of smaller tasks. Not mapping out those smaller tasks leaves room for distraction. Instead, when working on a large task plan out each step between, so that when you complete a sub task you know what to do next.
How To Build Detailed Tasks
If my main task is:
-Update Facebook Ad Campaigns
Then my subtasks would be:
-Open Facebook Business Manager
-Review Awareness campaign performance
-Write new copy for Awareness ad
-Replace copy on lowest performing ad
-Publish updated ad
-Set a reminder to review in 1 week
See how my new to-do list provides little room for uncertainty? I know exactly what I need to do to complete the larger task and can move from one subtask to the next. You’ll notice, I don’t include ever teeny tiny detail – that would be overkill. I just provide enough of a roadmap that I know how to get from beginning to end. Mapping out each task before starting will help you stay on track to completion.
How can you best do this? Simply add to your current productivity task list. My all time favorite productivity manager is Sunsama. If you’ve read my articles before you know I’m a huge fan of this company and can’t stop promoting them enough (selfishly I want them to be successful so I can keep using their product). Sunsama makes it easy to track all my tasks and subtasks. Send me an email if you want to try Sunsama, I can get you an invite to skip the waitlist.
This fine-grained approach to task tracking has incredible productivity benefits that we all can adopt. Following this process can help you check off dozens if not 100 tasks in a day. Now before you jump off and start creating dozens of detailed tasks and subtask, make sure you’re focusing on the right things. Read Organize Your Mental Workspace to learn how to prioritize your objectives and create a focused todo list.
Good luck, and let me know how it works!