Chunking a large project into small parts is a great way to tackle an overwhelming project you keep putting off until a large block of time is available. The problem is - that opportunity seldom presents itself in your busy schedule. Chunking is an effective method for getting these large tasks done.

Small business operators can apply this chunking idea to small routine tasks that tend to accumulate until some crisis forces them to use a block of time better applied to other activities. Small tasks become overwhelming large projects.

For instance, a stack of accounts payable has accumulated to the point where suppliers are sending you embarrassing messages or, worse, saying unkind things about you in the marketplace. Or, you avoid completing lengthy (government) forms until the deadline or later. Opportunities foregone or just lost?

You can chunk the accounts payable by arranging them in priority order. Then, establish a daily discipline to pay one or two each day. The discipline is enforced when you experience that healthy sense of accomplishment that has replaced the sinking feeling in your stomach you had each time you saw the unprocessed pile of bills.

The form you dread filling out, because it involves gathering data from various sources, can be chunked even though it is only one single task. I find the best way to start is to fill in the easy parts such as your name, dates and other memorized information. If that doesn't inspire me to continue completing other sections, I attach a note to the form or in my daily diary indicating the next step, or the bit of information required for that next step. All the while I keep promising myself I can postpone the processing session at any time.

The other day my call display showed me a client was calling from his office during mid-afternoon. His question was not an urgent one. Knowing he has orders booked five months ahead, my question was, "What are you doing in your office during your busiest season?" His response was not unusual, "I'm just taking a break from all this paperwork that's been piling up." That is so common it inspired me to write this article for all the other small business operators coping with the same situation. Next, I must visit my "chunking" table.

Break the cycle and join the winners who get all the important things done!

Author's Bio: 

Gerry McRae has taught time management techniques in his university courses and at several police colleges. He is also the author of "Time Management for Entrepreneurs - What to do, When & Why" available at