Chunking: How to Make Everything You Have To Do Easier

How you and your brain process certain activities can mean the difference between success and failure or wanting to do something vs. hating to do have to do something. When you recognize and control that process you can trick yourself into doing just about anything.

That process is known as chunking.

Here’s an example. When you think of going to the gym is this what runs through your mind: first I have to set my alarm the night before, but what if the alarm doesn’t go off so I better set my cell phone alarm too but I hate setting that alarm because then I never know if it’s going to go off every day or not. Then I have to wake up and while I’m waking up I have to be extra quiet not to disturb my significant other or maybe the kids, then while I tiptoe around in the dark I have to try and find my workout clothes. I hate the dark because I always stub my toe and then I’m sure that’ll lead to an infected toenail or something. While I’m trying to find my workout clothes I need to also remember to pack everything I need for the day because I’ll need to shower and get changed at the gym but I hate the shampoo they have there so I have to pack all my toiletries and my work clothes – but I hate when my work clothes get wrinkled or absorb the smell of my gym bag. So eventually after I find all of my clothes and take 25 minutes extra to get out the door, oh now I get to sit in my car and wait for it to warm up because it’s extra early because I want to go to the gym so now there’s still frost on my window – and I’m starving because I didn’t eat breakfast yet and I don’t know what I’m going to eat after the gym because I won’t be hungry after working out but then later in the day I’ll be too tired and I’ll get hungry way before lunch and I have that meeting…… And it goes on and on and on and it’s the night before you want to go to the gym.

Do you really think you would want to go to the gym after that, especially multiple times per week.

Contrast that with someone that says: Oh, I’m gonna go to the gym tomorrow. OK, I’ll just get up and go.

That person has “chunked” going to the gym in 1-3 steps while in the first example you chunked going to the gym as 1,000 separate annoying activities that could go wrong. Whether it’s going to the gym, starting a new project, finding new clients, and setting up a date night or just about anything on your to do list chunking it in your mind and the way you outline your activities will get you in the right mindset to get it done.

When you’re in the middle of what seems like an impossible set of tasks take the time to recognize how you might be chunking it so you can find the drive to finish it out easier than you expected.

Matt Kane

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