One big issue that most people have with their tasks lists is that many of the items are not actionable on the list. If you have to return something to Amazon you write down “Return covers to Amazon”, which is a project not a task. That single thing you wrote down has 9 things to do inside it and when you look at the task you have to figure out which one of those things is the piece you have to do at this moment to move the project forward.

The result of these tasks that are 22 items encased in a single line is inaction. You’re left wondering what specifically has to be done and the mental energy to figure it out breaks any productivity flow you had.

If you want to get more done you need to break your tasks out into their actionable atomic parts so that you can step through them when it’s time to work.

I do in fact have some iPad cases I ordered in the wrong size to return, so let’s build out that project to show you what I mean.