How many times have you set out to achieve a goal or complete an important task but you ended up taking longer than you expected? Maybe you let yourself get overwhelmed by your daily activities and dues that your goal or task just got postponed to the day after, just to do the same exact thing all over again. Or maybe once you are finished with your daily musts such as cooking, eating, cleaning, or going to work you are just too tired to work on that task you want to achieve which has been on your to-do list for days…
Welcome to the procrastination cycle. Everybody goes through it whenever they have to complete a task. The Salami Slice method and the Swiss Cheese method are based on the fact that a main reason for procrastinating on something is that the task seems to be so large and lengthy when you try to approach it head on that you just end up feeling overwhelmed and quit. However these methods will make it way easier for you to get started on the task and finish it in record time.
Salami Slice Method: imagine you are sitting at your desk and you have a lot of tasks you want to get done. Picture those tasks as a bunch of salamis sitting around waiting for you to eat them. Of course you won’t be able to eat a whole salami at one sitting (a very unhealthy thing to do). Instead the first thing you do is grab a knife and make small slices of the salami and eat it one slice at a time. This is exactly what you should do with your task. Lay it out in detail listing each step in order. Then just get started on the first slice of the job. This method works because psychologically it will be easier for your mind to get started on a project by doing a single small piece of a large project instead of starting on the whole thing.
Swiss Cheese Method: picture a slice of Swiss cheese. It has holes in it. Now imagine your task as a slice of cheese that looks and tastes exactly like Swiss cheese, but has no holes in it. To make your cheese look exactly like Swiss cheese you have to start making holes in it. This is exactly what this method suggests you do to your task: punch holes into it. This means that regardless of how big or time consuming the task may be, you resolve to work on it for a specific time period.
These methods are very simple to apply and are meant to get you started on your task or project. The desired outcome is that after you were able to start working you develop a sense of forward momentum and as you eat more slices of the salami or as you punch more holes into your cheese, you become energized and feel accomplished. These feelings will make you want to keep going until you find yourself working through the whole thing until it’s done!
My name is Riccardo Roiati, and I hope that you got value from reading this.