#13: Un-Break it Down

One of the most touted pieces of productivity advice is to break big intimidating projects down into small, digestible, steps.

The reason it’s so popular?

It works.

I remember when I decided to make videos on YouTube – publishing that first video was a massive undertaking. Setting up my recording setup, writing an outline, testing productivity software… I broke these pillars down into dozens of steps and logged them as such in my task manager.

I did this for every video for a while. After some time, I discovered what worked and templatized it.

Then video #20 came along.

Things started to feel dull and repetitive.

I was checking off tasks after I had already done them. I wasn’t using my task manager to inform me what needed to get done; instead, ticking the checkbox felt like a chore I had to perform and actually slowed me down.

Then it hit me.

As my recording, scriptwriting, and editing skills evolved, I could do many of the steps I used to write down on autopilot – I didn’t need a to-do app to tell me what the next small step was anymore.

I needed to UN-break it down. My video-creation template went from 12 steps to 4. And I still knew exactly what they all meant.

What I learned: you need to break big projects down, but not as much as you can; just as much as you need to.

Actionable advice for this week: un-breakdown your projects.

Do you have any project lists or templates that feel like chores? See where you can simplify without compromising on quality. Remember, the goal is effortless productivity, not completing checklists.

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