No matter what your major, you will need to manage a big project at some point in your career. You’ll even need to do this in your personal life (think wedding or home move). The process you use for doing a project also applies to major assignments such as a research paper or a major project.
Here’s a way to manage a big assignment.
|Step One –
|Make a list of all of the activities needed to do the assignment. These should be activities that will take about one hour to do. Exhibit One shows what the task list might look like for preparing a research paper.
|Step Two –
|Assign target dates to each task on the list. Several tasks may share a same target date, but be realistic.
|As you work on the assignment, check off tasks as they are completed. There is a sense of accomplishment when you do this.
|Make a comment with each task as a reminder of something you may need to revisit. For example, you might make a note of an additional topic you might want to include in your paper.
|Should you fall behind, revise your target dates. This may require doubling up on some tasks in order to complete your project.
|Step Six –
|After the project is done, write out the lessons you learned about managing a big assignment. You’ll find these lessons learned to be valuable as you undertake your next biggest assignment.
One other thing that works is to post your schedule in a place where you see it every day. This practice will keep the assignment in your consciousness.