Organization for the Mama of Littles :: Tasks vs. Projects

I’ve been working through Mystie Winckler’s (wonderful, free!) workshop called Declutter Your Head.  She is walking me through a few organization basics using ideas and systems from the book Getting Things Done by David Allen.  I feel like i’ve been stumbling around in the dark, and now finally, the lights have been turned on.

One simple shift is how i write my daily to-do list.  Getting Things Done differentiates between tasks and projects. Tasks are one step items on the list; projects are groups of related tasks that add up to a completed whole.  At first this just sounded like a pretty flimsy distinction.  But I realized that I am often frustrated because I’ve populated my to-do list with projects instead of tasks.

Even something as simple as doing the dinner dishes has a few steps.  First, the dishwasher has to be emptied.  Then the table has to be cleared.  Finally the dishes must be rinsed and placed in the dishwasher. I can get derailed at any step in the project.  Maybe the clean dishes didn’t get put away.  Maybe we left the table without clearing our places.  Maybe I just ran out of steam before I got through all the steps in my dinner dishes project!

Really seeing the myriad of related tasks has given me a more realistic sense of what I can cross off my list each day.  And it’s opened up space for a little bit of grace…even if the dishes don’t get done every day.

Declutter Your Head: A Free 6-Part Email Course


  1. Your phrase “it’s opened up space for a little bit of grace” absolutely made my day. That is what I hoped it would do and I’m so glad it is. It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves for all the little things, but it’s extending that grace and seeing the meaning behind it all that helps us work toward that higher calling hidden underneath it all.

    1. ack! i just noticed that i had spelled your name incorrectly. so sorry; all’s mended now!

      thank you for the gift of your fine work. it’s doing wonders here.

Leave a Reply