Break Things Down to Get Things Done!

If you have individual items to get done, you will create a list. These items may not be related to each other.

If you have a task that requires a few actions to be completed, you could still create a list to get these done.

When there’s a project to be completed that has a few layers to it, then this tool is invaluable. I started using it many years ago, and it simplifies what needs to be done, allows you to colour code for delegation tasks, and takes you out of overwhelm into being productive.

In this example, the project is ‘Develop Program’, which is a project plan example for developing a new mentoring program.

If you have individual items to get done, you will create a list. These items may not be related to each other.

If you have a task that requires a few actions to be completed, you could still create a list to get these done.

When there’s a project to be completed that has a few layers to it, then this tool is invaluable. I started using it many years ago, and it simplifies what needs to be done, allows you to colour code for delegation tasks, and takes you out of overwhelm into being productive.

In this example, the project is ‘Develop Program’, which is a project plan example for developing a new mentoring program.

How to Map Out Your Project

When you first think of your project, which in this example is to ‘Develop Program’ you need to break down the main activities associated with that.

[This is NOT a completed project plan but it gives you most of the broad, high level steps you can drill down from.]

According to this plan, there are 5 main steps if you were to develop a new program, so under ‘Develop Program’ we have five boxes. If you were to develop a new program you would probably follow these five steps:

  • Research what clients want
  • Brainstorm program options
  • Develop program overview
  • Organise technology required
  • Create content

These steps are mini projects themselves, so underneath each you would list all of the actions required to complete that step. The actions are listed under each of the main boxes. They may drill down further but this is the high level example.

How to Delegate Chunks of the Project

Simple – colour code! I use this system and it works really well with my team.

First of all I scope out the entire project, and then let the team review it before we make it final. Each member of my team has a different role, and different skills, and is able to pick up anything I may have left out. When we all agree on the project plan, we then colour code who does what. In the example below, I’ve delegated to three other people, highlighted by the green, orange and pink boxes.

That way, you don’t need to add unnecessary text to the project plan and can read it easily.

If you want to add in dates and a timeline, I prefer to have an overall project date when we need to be done, as well as dates for when the key steps need to be completed. If you work it backwards and let your team know when the mini projects are due to be completed, they can then work back to when they have to have their individual actions done.

That’s it! Play around with what works for you but this really is a simple and useful tool that enables you to be far more productive and get more done, than if you failed to have a plan.