The Value of “Chunking” to Get Big Tasks Done

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I just attended another great workshop given by an industry expert. I didn’t want to go because I don’t have the time.. But once I went I came away with a number of ideas to put in place in my advisory firm. Some days I find myself just treading water. I am busy – responding to clients, reallocating portfolios, working with employees on issues and reporting to my board. I know I am doing what I need to do, but the things I learn at these workshops never happen. I don’t put the new growth plans in place; I don’t reorganize my team, which I know I need to do; I don’t rewrite important job descriptions; I don’t find ways to maximize our technology usage.

I know what I need to do but I don’t get it done. I am exerting a lot of effort but don’t move things in important ways. Is there some way to think about this differently or some technique to get myself more focused on these important, over-arching initiatives?


Dear B.H.,

This is a classic case of getting all of the important “to-do’s” done on a daily basis but not making enough progress on the big things, the initiatives to move your business forward. I have a theory that people focus on what is in front of them, not the bigger things because looking at what needs to be done feels overwhelming and daunting. Many people tell me at my workshops and when I speak that they suffer from this same problem – knowing a big project should be put in place, but never finding the time to make inroads.