Skip to main content

craft & maker

How to Get More Done

Lesson 9 of 17

Unreasonable Expectations: Task vs Projects

Tara Swiger

How to Get More Done

Tara Swiger

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

9. Unreasonable Expectations: Task vs Projects

Lesson Info

Unreasonable Expectations: Task vs Projects

One more that leads nicely into the next topic of conversation, which is the person says rewritten rule a tiny task counts as work it's okay to spend just ten to twenty minutes a day instead of it being four hours versus none in terms of accomplishing something that's the best leader? Never because that's what we're going to talk about. So I said that what keeps us from feeling productive, not being productive, feeling productive is internal rules and unreasonable expectations of ourselves. So the rules are the things like you must do this, where the unreasonable expectations are, like finished that entire project today, right? So one of the biggest unrealistic expectations that I see is that people misunderstand the difference between tasks and projects and what they say is I'm working on x today, so I need to finish all of x and x is actually a project big thing made up of lots of little tasks. So a task is a single thing that you can do in one session or less, so a task might be com...

pose one tweet where a project might be schedule my social media for the week a task might be right when walk post where the project might be regularly update my blawg with pictures and words. A task might be right for twenty minutes where the project is write a book right now if I sat down and I said you have to write a book and you're not allowed to get up you say that's ridiculous but we do that with ourselves maybe projects or like finishing the whole painting are finishing twenty wallets or making three pieces of jewellery when in fact if we measure it by task were more productive so a task is a single thing that you can do in a session and a project is bigger and it includes multiple tasks so this is where so many people get overwhelmed because they try to work on a big big projects without first breaking them down and so if that project takes two days or two weeks or two two months they feel awful and unproductive when in fact they might have been making awesome progress towards because they got done tasks each day and what so the solution to this is when you work on a project toe list out what all of the tasks are and even maybe break them up into segments so a project for me is teaching the whole class there are lots of tasks that go into that writing the different sections putting the other the workbook put in villa slides doing the marketing and the marketing has bunch of the different tasks but if I said do this cross this week I would be totally that's too much, and you run into the problem if you don't know what to do if you haven't listed it all out and defined all of the little pieces, you don't know what you should most work on and how it all fits together and what needs to be done when so identifying this task versus project can really help you feel way more productive, and it will actually make you productive because instead of sitting down and saying, ok, the task in front of me is, uh, marking plan I need to do marketing like what? What would you d'oh if you sit down and just say I need to do marketing, but if you have a whole list of tasks you can pick, I'm gonna do these three marketing tasks and then I'm done, so you have, like, a way of measuring if you did it or not, which is always good because, hey, I accomplish something and you can celebrate it, but also it lets you get way more specific and they're not spending time. I don't know what I should do. I don't know where I should start. I'm not sure what part of this matters you know exactly what needs to be done, so what I want you to do there's actually a page in your workbook for this, uh oh, so on page twelve, you can write down what's the difference between a task in a project and some examples in your own business. What are your task than projects? And then also, what are your current projects? One of the things we're currently working on. Now, if we just talked about your sales grow, one of your projects might be just producing all of the stuff you need. No, you need to produce it also might be implementing your marketing plan, creating a marketing plan, and then I want you to take one of your projects while we talk about this and break it down into tasks because we're gonna chat because every time I do this, somebody things, they've broken it down into tasks, but really, they've just broken it down into smaller projects, you know must always break things down smaller. This is one of the things I do each quarter with my online community work through the mat making guide, which does this process of breaking down one goal in all these individual two duis, and we've been doing in every quarter for over four years, so I have worked with so many people, and I know that you want teo keep things projects it's really hard to spot all of the individual tasks. Don't you guys just start doing that on page twelve and in the chat room and then I will help you figure out if it's really a task or a project and as you're writing in their list I want to talk about there is a difference between consistent ongoing versus one time tasks and projects so the big mistake that people make it the blawg ah blogging not a task or a project it's a continuous continuous project you can't say uh just I'm gonna work on a consistent blawg you need to know what does that mean? How many bob post are you going to do a week when are you going to post them and it's ongoing so yeah in a work session maybe every monday I write my block posts but I do that consistently it's a project that I have to keep revisiting so this gets back teo your list and mitre of the things you want to do in sixty days if some of those things on there you don't have to do every week but they're on the list and as soon as you markham off they go away you don't remember to do them every week so just identifying and I'm not quite sure how your system works but identifying that there are things on going that you need to repeat every week every day whatever and then some things you do him you markham off now I work with a lot of students whose business is a whole series of ongoing tasks so you know if you do a regular blawg regularly scheduled social media you regularly make projects take photos list them those air consistent things maybe you don't have a lot of onetime projects maybe you have just consistent work and so that means you're doing this kind of same tests over and over about identifying what those are and when you do them can help you feel productive because you realize yes, I have to do the same thing I did last week but I did get it done last week is like making her better doing laundry right you have to regularly do it but each time you do it success you did something yeah there's going to be more dirty laundry but you've accomplished that so identifying that ongoing versus one time can really be useful I like to hear from you guys so what are some of your projects and what are the individual tasks in those projects? Yeah have a good one first starters from at home lauren b says the project is to build social media following on instagram to five thousand and the tasks are daily posts on instagram follow new people five a week comment on other people's post twice a week and always respond to others other comments in our post interactive post and giveaways find instagrammers with tio collaborate etcetera etcetera that's a pretty good breakdown right yeah it is that there's a couple things I would just like identify a little more if it was me and my to do list is finding collaborators collaborators make that like finding five and then I found one I found two I found three because if you just say finding them that's like ending you never know if you just say follow new people how many are you going to follow a day or a week also I don't know if she had this on her list but I would add this is to strategically use hashtag and to research say five hashtag that your people will want to use and then use them follow people who use them and uh all of this hopefully is with the aim of creating an instagram following full of people who actually want to buy your thing or use your product they're not just five thousand brando's but five thousand people who are going to actually like interact with whatever it is you're doing and did you are there more no I just I just wanted to appreciate the term rando seo I'm going to use that one way yeah because it's not about the numbers I mean unless you have somebody you're trying to impress but it's about that the people will take riel action with you interact with you see when identified collaborators and hashtags at all bring the right people to you and you guys somebody had a task or a project to share or you can just yeah uh my project is teo get twenty five wholesale accounts by december thirty first like that and where does that fit in with your sales goal that we talked about perfect okay some of the tasks are spin one hour each day researching uh retailers like that uh number to contact through three retailers each day with my line she crap and you know a senate inquiry but before I do that I offered me two first update the line she to reflect the new pricing that I learned from my days cause update the new pricing and include um not better product photography because I think what I have so far is pretty good but just more variety of product photography into the line chief that sounds good I might also when you're actually putting it in your lister or your system as we go through the day um I like the contacting three and it you might wantto put how many you want a research like you're goingto research right for an hour but how many are you going to research and when do you part of this is defining the task so that then you can celebrate it being done yeah and if now the one hour might be enough that might be a good I guess depends on how long it takes you butt and then and then you also want to look at after you contact some how many do I have to contact to get one like we talked about with your customers how many people do I have to reach reach out to in order to get one taker and that number mike hate change a little bit but usually you can find a ratio after each out to tend to get one after he got a one hundred year one I'm not sure what it will be but as you improve your pitch that number should become better but that also gives you an idea if you have to reach out to one hundred to get one then you know that to get twenty five you have to reach twenty, five hundred e did that without calculator eso how about does anybody else have a project and half? Yeah well I'm going back to the book um I think that one issue I've run into is that even the task so I want to finish this book in one of the tasks in my mind is, um complete one of the pages yes, of the coloring book um still a very big task and I mean, I'm probably being bold speaking for every creative parent mom out there but um even a simple tasks like say I'm going to draw one page while my expectation is that I'm going to do the white paint very often I don't get through the one page I get through a little bit of the page because someone calls me someone needs me, you know? So I think figuring out or allowing ourselves to have tasks that are very, very small are really going to be more valuable for us because we were self sabotage ourselves. Really? Yeah, you know and the idea that if the task goes back to an internal rule if you have finished a whole page in order for you to have done anything today, then you might never feel like you've gotten anything done exactly. And so by saying a fourth of a page might be plenty and when you say finish a page does that that includes just one drawing linda and in the actual putting it in the p f or doing anything else that's a different thing, right? Ok, good. So make sure you identify that sometimes I say like, write a workbook but there's there's the writing and then there's editing then there's the laying out. And if I just think right workbook, I'm always surprised it takes so much longer than I think it was going, teo because I forget all those other tiny tasks so that's a difference between tackling projects and that's the unreasonable expectations that I many many people struggle with, so I want you to finish page thirteen in your workbook teo and this is actually gonna come into play because well you think many people think they can hold these tasks and projects in their head it we we need to have some way of tracking them and getting them out of her head your head can think about other things like how to run your business and how you know what your creativity and what you're making eso all of these tests and projects are going to come into play in the next segment as we talk about actually keeping track of things and finding a time to do it I do have a final question what about this is about resetting rules um what about the hidden growing up rules that are set in our subconscious that we're trying teo fix here uh devaney sort of there I would say teo thing is is if they're totally hidden in your subconscious you're not aware of them then maybe become trip pay attention this is a just pay attention as you go through your work day your life and say wait is that true my favorite question is this true I think oh no panic I have tohave x y and z wait is that true and if you can't identify where exactly everything came from that's okay that the goal here isn't to figure out why you're messed up is to identify the internal rules that are keeping you and then rewrite them and then practice something we rewrote them. But you're not going to walk out of here like healed. You have to keep applying this and practicing it. And every time you catch an internal rule making you say there's, no point in working or I didn't get anything done or I sock is that true? What internal roll? Um, I applying can I rewrite that? So sometimes I work through this material with people we take a whole week and they write down what comes up at the end of each work session, why they feel bad. And if you're right, why I feel bad about this work such knife about about often you will have your internal world right there glaring at you. So if you feel like I've got a lot but it's subconscious, I can't really identify it. Just pay attention, pay attention then after is this true? How can I expand this to feel better about my work day in order to not keep holding myself too unreasonable? Expectations that make me just feel constantly bad and put me into that spiral of not getting anything done.

Class Description

Stop fretting over the limited number of hours in a day and get to work – the smart way! In How to Get More Done, Tara Swiger will lay out a simple action plan that will help you manage your time, your business, and your family life more efficiently.

When Tara's online yarn shop replaced her day job, she fielded a lot of questions about the secret to her success. One thing led to another and now she is devoted, full-time, to helping other crafty entrepreneurs realize their dreams. In this class, she’ll help you take control of your calendar and build your business. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Implement a simple system for managing your time and tasks 
  • Prioritize time with your family 
  • Balance business, life, production, and marketing 
  • Strike the perfect balance between “studio time” and “admin time" 

You’ll identify your time-sucks and unproductive distractions and overcome common scheduling pain points by developing an action plan that works. 

Learn how to create a workday you'll love - no matter how (little) time you have. You’ll make the most of your time, keep track of your to-dos, and get the things that matter done in How to Get More Done with Tara Swiger.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Kickstart Your Profits

Bonus Materials

Get More Done Resources

Get More Done Workbook

Ambitiously Forecast Your Sales Calculator by Tara Swiger.xlsx

Improve Your Holiday Sales Sketch Note

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

A really great class. As a newer creative business owner I have had trouble with always feeling like no matter what I worked on it wasn't the right thing or it wasn't enough. I think the advice in this class will help me feel better about my accomplishments and keep me focused on the things that will help my business. Thanks!

Jacqui Kelly

I loved it! start to finish really packed full of sensible easy to follow advice - great workbook and extra materials. Highly recommended. Tara does continually mention STARSHIP and MAPPING with out any background info on these topics which began to niggle at me but guess the answers are on her website. This was my first full class after purchasing my Creator Pass and it gets a 10/10