S:1058 Principle: The Ups and Downs of Chunk-ing

(Principles are basic truths that, when applied, cause success to come to you easier and quicker.)


It’s frustrating to get stuck during a project and have your progress stymied. Yet, it happens to all of us. Here are two approaches to help get unstuck.

Many times the issue is that the project is too big. You simply can’t get your head around the enormity of it, or there are too many moving pieces, or there are too many unknowns. When overwhelmed by issues like these we tend to freeze or dither in incidental details.

In that case, try doing what’s called Chunk-ing Down. Break the big things down into smaller chunks and make progress on one of them. You’ll be amazed at how your energy starts to flow.

Example: Want a big outcome in three years and it seems daunting? Rough out some incremental checkpoints from then back towards now. Once you get a pretty good picture of where you could be in, say, 90 days, then focus your efforts on only what you can do in that shorter time-frame, releasing your concerns about the longer-range outcome.

The opposite problem can occur when you find yourself dealing with something you thought you had previously fixed. Recurring problems can be handled by stepping back and discovering what the bigger, overarching issue is. That’s called Chunk-ing Up.

Example: High employee turnover (a repeating problem) could be because you have a faulty hiring process (a bigger chunk). Address that and watch the turnover decrease.

Rending big things little and little things big, when useful, keeps you in the flow.


Coaching Point: Maybe without having labeled it as such, where have you used the Ups and Downs of Chunk-ing before?


Copyright 2016 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.