Breaking task down help us to see large tasks are more approachable and doable, and reduce our propensity to procrastinate or defer task, because we simply don`t know where to begin
Mellisa Gratias Ph.D - Workplace productivity coach and speaker
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Hello Guys! I often get a reminder to takes a small step every time I am confused about where I should start on a project. I bet you ever get this advice too, right?
Well, takes a baby steps advice is never wrong. Takes a baby step is very helpful in tackling projects especially for a self-starter. Not only takes a baby step will lead us to know where to begin but also see task are more approachable.
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For example, let's say I want to learn a foreign language other than English. Yet, I wonder how can I learn a new foreign language while my English is far from proficient? then, how can I study a new subject while I also have several on-going projects? Well, instead of asking questions for many time and then will leading to self-doubt, I rather choose to maximize the power of baby steps.
First of all, the best way to learn something new in easier is to get a familiar subject with the old one. In this case, I am familiar with English, so I pick up a new language that has common roots with English. Then, I have three options here such as Spanish, German, or French.
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Later on, I am narrow it down my options based on which one the most familiar with. In final, I choose to learn Spanish because I often hear Spanish song instead of Germany or French. Now, I need to break down several tasks to successfully learn the Spanish language in the next six month. I begin to learn Spanish vocabulary, practice simple writing, and speaking.
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First of all, let`s start to learn the new 23 vocabularies this month. Later on, I am applying to learn similar English words in Spanish. Thus, not only I am success learn Spanish vocabulary but also help me practice simple writing.
Well, when I am breaking down into several parts, I have a clear direction about where should I begin and steps that I should take to do this project. So, I am no longer feel doubt because I am able to visualize learn a new foreign language is possible for me.
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Alright, it is obvious takes a baby step is good practice on my life and so are you. But, have you ever wonder why we need to do that in science perspective? Well, I will sump up behind meaning why we take baby steps is an important step here.
Small Steps Can Lead to Big Results
If you want a victory then take a small step will help you to achieve that. Well, science already proof that 27 years ago. an entrepreneur, Her Morreale, shared his thought about how individuals can make an impact for a greater good. He calls "domino theory"
" As dominos placed on end knock each other in succession, all of the dominos fall due to the energy transferred by each impact. Like tipping over that first domino, one small act can set into motion a series of events that expands out into the world"
- Her Morreale -
In domino theory, we also need to recognize a pattern and setting things into motion. First of all, we can start with something inspirational to recognize that pattern.
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Do you still remember my Spanish language project above? Yes, I recognized the Spanish Language has similarities with English. That is why it helps me decide to start to learn Spanish.
Our Memory is Limited
Let`s admit, we are an ordinary human so we can`t remember everything. That is why we need to takes a baby step because it leading us to visualize the necessary steps and make it into our personal to-do list.
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Imagine this, If we rely on memory then we often stop at every step of the task. Also, wondering what to do next will makes us tend to skip the important task. This situation is a disadvantage for project progress. We are so distracted and lost opportunities. That is why breaking a large project down into the smaller list will help us identify what the next steps should we take.
We Are Not Excellent Delayed Gratification
Well! how many of you like to make mistakes in your task list? I also enjoyed a list of tasks that I had to do because it was satisfying to see my progress immediately. If you like it too, you don't need to worry about feeling too accomplished or obsessive-compulsive. There is a scientific theory that explains our behavior.
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The theory is our brain immediately release dopamine - a neurotransmitter that connects a pleasure and motivation feeling - when we see our own progress. In our mind, we are success achieve a small victory. Because we enjoy that feeling, that is why we tend to repeat that behavior. Also, we become more motivated to take steps forward. Remember the domino theory above? small steps series will lead to small success into a big result. In this case, thanks to our dopamine to make it happen :)
We are Working Better with Specific Goals
Indeed, we are so much better working in a specific goal because it encourages us to set achievable steps. For example, you want to launch a new product this month. At first glance, your goal is to get a new product ready. But, how you will make this happen? When does it need to go live?
When we are breaking down assignments into a smaller part, it will lead us to get a specific goal such as what the next steps? when it will begin? And how to make it happen? Specific goals do not only help us to pursue the path, but also dismiss anything that irrelevant. That is increases our focus, motivation, and persistent too.
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Well! we know now the power of baby steps. There is no goal is too big now because we can tackle the project by creating small steps series. So, what is your project this month? let me know your thought :)