Two problems we often face are:
Drowning in large projects and not knowing where to start.
(e.g knowing you need to create new content for a site, but not being able to thanks to the paralysis of so much work being left to do)
Wasting time on small tasks that seem so trivial or insignificant that it’s difficult to stay motivated for them.
(e.g failing to scale a campaign because you can’t be bothered to add fresh creatives to it)
There is a concept in the NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) world known as chunking; chunking up and chunking down.
Chunking has really helped me to get a grip on both the expansive projects that take many months and the trivial shit that takes 10 minutes and still manages to hijack my to-do list for weeks on end.
Here’s the idea…
When you have a big project that isn’t going to be complete for several weeks or months (or in our attention span, days ), you break the project into smaller precise actions that don’t leave you breathless simply thinking about.
Pretty straightforward, right?
A lot of new affiliates get bogged down in projects that are way overblown. Targets like " I will go from making $0/day to $1000/day on Facebook ".
These projects need collapsing in to smaller goals that enable you to actually deploy your resources and start working, instead of daydreaming.
Instead of looking at the end goal, you would chuck it down by asking:
- Can I find examples of affiliates already earning $1000/day on Facebook?
- What can I learn from their work? (creatives, good offers, good landing pages, etc)
- What would a day in their life look like?
- Are there any core beliefs that help them to succeed?
- What can I do to model my day like theirs?
- What tasks would it involve?
- Which of those tasks can I start on now?
That is chunking down. No matter how big the project, you can always start on something today. The problem is that most affiliates don’t actually model their success on other successful affiliates. They ask, " What tasks can I do to convince myself that it’s been a busy day? " And that’s when you’re going nowhere fast.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of breaking goals into smaller tasks, but the opposite can be helpful for those who still find themselves procrastinating.
When we know that we need to do something, but the willpower isn’t there, chunking up is the process of asking " Why, why, why? " until the willpower exists.
For me, this is useful for tasks like updating ad creatives, creating new blog content, staying on top of emails, networking. Tasks that you know you have to do, but where the rewards are not felt straight away. There’s mental resistance. Even with 24 hours in the day, we still blame the clock for failing to do tasks that should only take 10 minutes.
The truth is that we never have time for things that don’t sufficiently motivate us.
When we are motivated, we find the time.
One of the best ways to motivate yourself for these tasks is to stack them so that you can see the bigger picture. Ask escalating questions until you find the motivation to get off your ass.
- What strategy is this task invoking? (link building, content marketing, arbitrage, etc)
- What is that strategy capable of doing for my business?
- What would my business look like if it mastered this strategy?
- How would somebody who has mastered this strategy handle this task?
- How would he get started on this task?
The purpose of this thought process is to give meaning to the small tasks that matter most. Measurable goals are great, but without chunking them to your greater ambitions, you will keep deferring them to tomorrow’s to-do list.
In both cases, modelling is one of the best ways to improve your productivity (and your results).
If you feel resistance towards getting a specific task done, it means you’re not sufficiently motivated (and that could be for a variety of reasons, most notably fear of failure or fear of success – In this case, chain the task to a greater ambition, and use that as your kick up the jacksy.
If you feel resistance towards starting a larger project, it usually means that you haven’t set enough measurable smaller goals.
Either way, you need both motivation and measurable goals. Modelling your actions on somebody who has already succeeded is an enormous help, as it tends to give you insight into both.
Something to keep in mind when your to-do list still includes unfinished business from the last decade! (Source: Unknown)