Dealing with large tasks

Are you facing a large and complex task? Sometimes it’s hard to even get started, right?

A natural response would be to start analyzing the task searching for the most efficient way to deal with it. But it’s easy to over engineer a solution, and for me this is never the most efficient approach. I simply don’t (yet) know enough about the task to do this kind of thinking up front.

This is why I prefer to start with the smaller tasks that I actually do know how to deal with – without giving the bigger picture much though. I move on, one (sub)task at the time. This seems to work magic. I now naturally know the next natural step, and can create more (sub)tasks. All of a sudden, the large and complex task seems manageable.

I know this sounds trivial, but it’s really about the mindset. Of course, you have to put some thought into it, but over analyzing a task before you start working on it is waste. Instead, start with what you do know, and make it a habit to split tasks early if it’s too big. It’s better to do this early than late.

Every now and then you will get stuck in a task, because you made wrong assumptions. When this happens it’s hard to take a step back and start over (the right way). This is a muscle you have to train, so make sure you reward yourself whenever you manage to do so.

Related:
http://hunskaar.com/how-to-boost-your-personal-productivity-part-2/

How to boost your personal productivity? (English version)

A while ago, I wrote a blog post in Norwegian about how to improve your personal productivity, by combining Personal Kanban and Pomodoro. This blog post was recently published as an article, in English, by ProgramUtvikling in their magazine – The Developer (No 1, 2012).

Read the full article: The-Developer-1-2012.pdf
(Page 12-16 according to table of contents, page 7-8 in the PDF.)

Take a look, and let me know what you think!

Page 1
Page 2

Please note that you always can read the latest number of The Developer here.

How to boost your personal productivity?

I published a new blog post on the company blog; “How to boost your personal productivity?”. It describes a combination of Personal Kanban and Pomodoro, and how this works well for me.

It’s written in Norwegian, and you can read it in full-length here:
http://open.bekk.no/hvordan-booste-din-personlige-produktivitet/

For my English-speaking readers, I recommend reading the article that inspired me to combine these techniques:
http://paulklipp.com/images/PersonalProductivity.pdf