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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Breaking It Up

I'm about three weeks ahead in writing these posts. I wish I could find a place to hide out from my ideas for a while. They keep coming at me. I have more than I know what to do with. I'm talking about ideas for posts here as well as ideas for my actual scholarly writing.


A large task can be broken up into several smaller ones. When I'm close to done with a piece I make a list of discrete tasks that have to be done. On the other hand, having too many small tasks can be overwhelming to, so in that case, I cluster them together and they seem easier that way. You can shift your perspective back and forth and make things a lot easier on yourself.

Finishing the article means doing tasks 1-10. Each is easy in itself, so you could do one very easy thing a day and finish the whole thing in 10 days! Rewrite the footnotes one day, tweak the concluding paragraph another, complete a short section on X another day. Once you start doing this, you can do 2 or 3 easy things a day.

But if your list is writing 10 emails, then group those into one task. "Answer email." Do those all at once.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Just take a couple of your most trusted ideas out into the woods and ambush all these more disturbing ones.