Tackling Hard Tasks

I have been working on a seemingly endless list of bugs for my new recruiting application. It seems that every time I finish one, another two pop up.

Often these bugs or features are pretty enormous chunks of work and I sometimes shy away form doing them.

What I have come to realize about hard tasks I don’t want to start is that I usually have either poorly defined the work to be done or need to break it down into a series of smaller tasks.

For example, I have a series of bug testing emails in my To Do list where a team member has provided me a list of all the problems they could find. These are often hard for me to start because I don’t know what I am getting myself into. If I switch that task from “Fix all bugs in this email” to “Break this email down into new to dos”, that is more achievable and clear. Then each of the tasks that I have arising from that are easier to deal with.

Likewise, right now I have a To Do titled “Solve issue with incomplete test statuses”. The problem with this To Do is that it is a big project that I don’t really understand that well and won’t until I start it. What would be better is to alter this task to “Review and diagnose the issue with incomplete test statuses and write a plan for fixing it”. Now that is something I know I can do a half hour or an hour and is reasonable.




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Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.

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