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How To Manage Tasks Effectively

By Joey Havens

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Wooden cubes with target achievement icon.

My closet at home is out of control. It’s so out of control that it is starting to stress me! CeCe has asked me about once a week to go through it and give away a bunch of the things that I am not using. But the more I looked at it, the more intimidated I got. It’s a big job. I’m thinking at least four, maybe six hours and that just doesn’t sound like fun to me.

I decided to reorganize the drawers first. So I spent a good two hours organizing the drawers and I felt so energized by how much better they looked that I decided I would work on the shelves and shoe rack, too.

An hour later, I have a pile of clothes in the center of my closet. On top are about seven pairs of shoes I haven’t worn in over a year. I’m ashamed to say how long I’ve had one pair. I put that pair under the clothes in case CeCe comes in, which didn’t take long.

Well, I see you started on your closet, this side looks great, when are you going to finish? (I may have written a note to you before about her criticality. She has that skill down.)

CeCe, I got off to a good start. I am doing this in phases so it’s not so intimidating. How about a little encouragement? I’m starting the lower rack tomorrow afternoon and finishing up the next day with the top rack of hanging clothes.

Sure enough, my energy and desire to knock this big task out created more urgency and the next day, I jumped in with both feet and did the top and bottom racks.

Wow, you did do it! This looks so much better.

Thanks, CeCe.

Now when are you going to get these clothes out of here and to Goodwill?

Okay, CeCe, I will take them all tomorrow.

I can’t put into words how energizing this was and how much better my closet looks. The greatest benefit is how functional it is now. I can actually see what I have (and wear it), which increases my efficiency when getting dressed.

The key to finally moving past my procrastination was when I broke the project down into phases. By having a smaller task, I was able to get started and generate some energy. This helped me see how much better my closet would be when I finished. As I completed each task, my energy rose, my focus got better and I knocked it out a day early.

When we have big projects, especially when they extend over a lengthy time period, it is always to our advantage to stop and plan exactly how we will attack this project. What is the first step? And what’s a good timeline for it? Big projects fall faster when we break them into smaller bites. What’s the saying, “you eat an elephant one bite at a time.”

Hey, I thought you were going to take those clothes to Goodwill?!

Tomorrow, CeCe, tomorrow.

Coming in 2023, my new book Leading with Significance breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and demonstrates, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring and magnetic. Sign up today for updates at