That’s why it’s serendipitous that the next principle in Jack Canfield’s self-improvement book, Success Principles, is Chunk It Down. As busy Etsy shop owners in the midst of holiday madness, knowing how to take our goals and break them down into manageable tasks could prove helpful. At the very least, re-reading this chapter may very well have saved my sanity.
In this chapter, Canfield discusses making overwhelming goals more attainable by breaking them down into a series of tasks from beginning to end. He suggests a couple of different ways to do this. One way is to work backwards from successful completion and identify each step along the way. Another way is to create a mind map. A mind map is pretty much a to-do list that is set up in a visual way. Start off by writing your goal in the center of a big piece of paper and circling it. You can also do this on post-it notes on your wall or on a magnetic board. I prefer post-its because it’s dynamic (and because I’m completely addicted to them). Divide your goal into major categories of tasks. Underneath each of these subcategories you can write your spokes or task items. You can break it down as far as you need to until you get to individual tasks or steps. I took my insane and unfocused attempt at my goal and turned it into a mind map that has structure to it (see below). My major goal is to make a certain amount in sales by the end of the year. That is written on the orange post-it note in the center of the map below. Next, I identified my sub-categories (in pink). In this case, I wrote the vehicles for my profits: repeat customers, local shop sales, Etsy sales, and craft fair sales. Lastly, I broke down into steps the things I need to do in order to generate more sales within each of these subcategories. These tasks are written on small blue post-it notes. I may break this down even further.
How do you chunk it down? I’m interested in how you all organize your busy lives so that you can be efficient and focused when you do have time to devote to your business and your shop. How are your holiday preparations going? Please share!