Published: Sep 20, 2023

You learned that providing clear and specific instructions helps a model understand your prompt and produce the output you want. In that spirit it has been empirically shown in several published papers (Chain of Thought, Tree of Thoughts and even In Context Instruction Learning) have shown how splitting a prompt into several smaller steps the model can follow sequentially improves the generated output. In the community this is also often referred to as given the model time to think or letting it reflect.

For example, you may want a model like ChatGPT to produce a business plan for your new Ai Coffee House.

You could simply prompt the model with: Create a business plan for a new Ai Coffee Shop.

Or you can break the task down into steps the model can take. However, it often helps to still lead with context.

Design a busines plan

Your task is to create a business plan for a new Ai Coffee Shop

1. Provide a brief overview of the coffee shop concept.
2. Detail the target market and customer demographics.
3. List the products and services to be offered.
4. Provide a financial projection for the first year.
5. Describe the marketing and promotional strategies.

Creating a Workout Plan

Or you may ask the Model to create a a workout routine for weight loss. Instead of just prompting Design a Workout Routine for Weight Loss you could expand and detail the prompt into smaller steps the LLM can take:

Create a weight loss workout routine by following these steps:
1. Specify the duration and frequency of the workout routine.
2. List warm-up exercises with their durations.
3. Detail the main exercises targeting major muscle groups.
4. Include cardio exercises and their intensities.
5. Conclude with cool-down exercises and stretches.

This is what ChatGPT 3.5 came up with:

Sure, I can help you create a weight loss workout routine. 
Please keep in mind that it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert before starting any new exercise program, 
especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are new to exercise. Also, adjust the routine to your fitness level and gradually increase intensity over time.

Workout Routine: Weight Loss

1. Duration and Frequency:

Duration: 45-60 minutes per session.
Frequency: 4-5 times per week.
2. Warm-Up (5-10 minutes):

Jumping jacks: 2 minutes
Arm circles: 2 minutes
Leg swings: 2 minutes
Bodyweight squats: 2 minutes
3. Main Exercises (25-30 minutes):

Perform these exercises as a circuit with little to no rest in between. Repeat the circuit 3 times.

Squats (Lower Body): 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, squat down as if sitting back into a chair, and return to a standing position.
Push-Ups (Upper Body): 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

Begin in a plank position, lower your chest towards the ground, and push back up.
Plank (Core): 3 sets of 30-60 seconds.

Hold a plank position with your elbows under your shoulders and maintain a straight line from head to heels.
Lunges (Lower Body): 3 sets of 12-15 reps per leg.

Step forward with one leg, bend both knees, and return to the starting position.
Bent-Over Rows (Upper Body): 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand, bend at the waist, and pull the weights toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
4. Cardio Exercises (10-15 minutes):

Choose one or a combination of the following cardio exercises to elevate your heart rate.

Running or Jogging: 10-15 minutes at a moderate pace.
Cycling: 10-15 minutes at a moderate pace.
Jump Rope: 10-15 minutes of jumping rope.
5. Cool-Down and Stretches (5-10 minutes):

Perform these stretches to help your muscles relax and improve flexibility.

Hamstring Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds per leg.
Quadriceps Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds per leg.
Chest Opener: Hold for 30 seconds.
Triceps Stretch: Hold for 30 seconds per arm.
Cobra Stretch (for the lower back): Hold for 30 seconds.
Child's Pose (for relaxation): Hold for 1-2 minutes.
Remember to stay hydrated throughout your workout, and listen to your body. 
If you experience pain or discomfort beyond normal muscle fatigue, 
stop the exercise and consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert. 
Additionally, proper nutrition and portion control are vital components of a successful weight loss journey, 
so consider consulting a registered dietitian for a personalized meal plan that complements your workout routine.

I am not a fitness expert, though I feel like this is something I can try myself a few times a week. Remember you can always test and refine your prompts to improve the output.

A few more examples:

Crafting a Pasta Recipe

1. List all the ingredients required.
2. Detail the preparation steps for the ingredients.
3. Describe the cooking process for the pasta.
4. Explain the method to prepare the sauce or toppings.
5. Conclude with serving suggestions.

You don’t really have to enumerate all of the steps like I did in the previous prompt. Simple language like do this then that should suffice in most cases, however, it only takes a little more effort and this is in line with our principle of providing “clear and specific instructions


  1. "Chain of Thought" Prompting technique
    Title: Chain-of-Thought Prompting Elicits Reasoning in Large Language Models
    Authors: Jason Wei, Xuezhi Wang, Dale Schuurmans, Maarten Bosma, Brian Ichter, Fei Xia, Ed H. Chi, Quoc V. Le, Denny Zhou
    Publication Date: 2022-01-28
  2. "Tree of Thoughts" Prompting technique
    Title: Tree of Thoughts: Deliberate Problem Solving with Large Language Models
    Authors: Not specified in the search results
    Publication Date: 2023-05-17
  3. "In Context Instruction Learning" Prompting
    Title: In-Context Instruction Learning
    Authors: Not specified in the search results
    Publication Date: 2023-02-28 © 2024