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A Tool for Procrastinators Only

I’m sure you’ve heard that the way to tackle a big task is to turn it into small chunks. Good advice but I’ve found sometimes I do one or two of the small chunks, get distracted, and lose track of the bigger task. When I’ve confessed this, quite a few people have said they have the same issue. If that’s you, too, I recommend a simple little tool I’ve devised that I call a Task Map.

A Task Map is just a simple diagram of the smaller chunks in the order in which I think they need to be done.


The example pictured here is a breakdown of the steps I need to do in order to launch a feature on TikTok. As you can see, I’m starting from zero; I don’t even know the exact dimensions the graphics should have or the best format for the audio. I also need to find out the best frequency of posting (consistent with what I can realistically produce), and some tips on how to attract followers.

As reflected in the next step, I plan to produce the first dozen posts for launch day (they’re very short). I also want to have the related print-on-demand merchandise ready on a site like Etsy in the unlikely event of the site arousing a lot of interest right away. I also want to get feedback from some more experienced people, do any final pre-launch prep I’ve found out about in the meantime, and then launch. I put a check mark in each circle as I complete that step.

Of course, you don’t need to draw it, it could just be a simple list, but I am visually oriented and find this format stands out more and is less likely to get buried on my desk.

I haven’t done it on this map, but you may want to add deadlines for each step. Sometimes it turns out that something I’ve got down as one step needs to be broken down into smaller steps, leading to another map.

When I get to the end of the map, it's time to draw another one for the next part of the process. In this case, that would be continuing to post, responding to feedback, improving the posts, and perhaps creating additional merchandise. If that sells, there may even eventually be a step that reads, “Spend the income on something nice!”


If procrastination is an issue for you, give this a try and let me know how you get on, either in the comments or at [email protected].

November 30, 2014

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