Chunking is the process of breaking things: learning, projects, memorization into smaller chunks in order to complete large tasks with greater rates of efficiency and success.

Most of the time we see items on a to-do list that state: Clean the House, Pay the Bills, Yardwork. We could break this down to: Clean the kitchen, do the laundry, clean the bathroom and pay the electric bill, pay the phone bill and rake the leaves, trim the hedges.

Even the latter list can be broken down into smaller chunks (here is an example of my house cleaning list). I realized that making a list of huge items was just overwhelming. I wondered where to start the project then worried over how long it would take, then began these projects in an inefficient fashion. I would have the same argument with my kids over the age-old “Clean your damn room”. Sure, they had to clean it. But where to begin? Where to end? What steps do I need to do to complete the chore? What is expected of me when mom barks this order?

When I look at my current house-cleaning list, I see little projects that make me think, “Oh sure, no problem, I can knock that out”. I also have the smaller tasks broken into logical sequence. For instance, you wouldn’t clean the dishes and take out the trash before cleaning out the refrigerator because inevitably, you’ll refill the sink with dishes and the trash with rotted food.

I found that also putting an “x” next to each task upon completion give my kids and me, a visual of success. If we get 4 out of 5 things completed on one project we feel compelled to complete that last task because we have a greater sense of accomplishment – one that we actually see with our eyes.

I’m formulating a chunking system for grocery shopping which I will post here soon. I hate the grocery store and found that a process is needed for getting my ass the hell out of there as quickly as possible.