Guest Post: Chunk It Up!

A long-time technology partner had interesting comments about my Steyer post, Procrastinating … or PreplanningWith her permission, I’m including her thoughts here:

There’s a #2a under Guilt associated with over-preparing. That is, when procrastination occurs in Stage 2 of a project. I see it all the time. The researcher continues to collect more data when that level of data may not be necessary for that stage of the project. How to get to the “so what?” Chunking it up helps.

Scope before you’ve used up your runway!

I’m reminded of a time when a dear friend departed. I volunteered to make the video for the service. My request of the widower was to provide about 100 pictures or so, and I’d put it together. I stopped by to pick up the thumbdrive a week before the service, and found the entire house had stacks of pictures on every surface available. Thousands of pictures. Maybe 10’s of thousands. Her problem was making the decision on what to include. So she hadn’t made a single decision. She just kept pulling out more pictures to add to the consideration set.

We needed to chunk it up a bit.

In this case, I just helped her create a framework to make the decision: what parts of his life did we want to cover (whittling down to certain piles). Walking through a couple of the stacks within a time chunk to see the kinds of pictures she felt would represent why that time frame was important. What kind of mood did she want to portray—smiling, achieving, experience, alone or with others. It took 8 hours of hand holding, but we had several pictures to cover each time period and had gotten over the inertia. We didn’t touch most of the piles, yet we covered all the territory. We also came up with a process of scanning and tagging the pictures. She rounded out the sets during the week and provided me with tagged pictures that I could easily plunk into place.

I like your focus on the chunking and to start with what you know. Spot on girl!

— Vicki

About anniepearsonOK

Author of the Rain City series, managing editor of Jugum Press, and writer/project manager for eclectic technical communications projects.

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