The broader the scope of your task, or the more ambiguous, the more mental effort it will take to complete.
Mental effort in this case means either time, energy, or ingenuity, and likely all three at once.
What this means is that if the mental effort you can bring to bear is not equal to the scope or ambiguity of the task at hand, you won’t get far.
You’ll be confused, spin your wheels, and tire out without making progress.
When you’re at your best, this isn’t a big deal. But as a matter of day-to-day, unless your tasks are specific, you won’t be able to make progress on them much of the time.
The best thing you can do with a big or ambiguous task is wait until you’re feeling good and have time to spend on it, and use that to clarify and break it down, rather than just jumping right in.
This way, when you’re not at your best, you can still latch onto tasks and finish them.
This is important not just because it means that you’ll keep making progress, but that you will perceive momentum, which is crucial for maintaining motivation and energy in the long term.