Whether you’re tackling a big project at work, writing a paper for school, or trying to unpack from moving, large projects can seem daunting. But there’s hope.
Break a Large Project into Smaller Ones
One big goal can seem pretty scary, and you’re more likely to procrastinate if you’re only thinking about the end goal. Instead, break things down into more manageable (and trackable) goals. One of the best ways to do this is to think about each smaller piece as its own S.M.A.R.T. goal. (S.M.A.R.T. = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
Set Deadlines for Smaller Projects
The “T” in S.M.A.R.T. is pretty important when it comes to breaking up a larger goal into smaller ones. You can’t have every chunk “due” the same day, or you’ve missed the point of breaking down the project. The best way to decide how to schedule your mini “due” dates, is to look at your timeline and how long each mini goal is going to take along that time line.
Reward Yourself Along the Way
Rather than promise yourself something large at the end of your project, celebrate smaller deadlines. This will help you stay motivated to meet those smaller deadlines, and keep you on track to get your large project done on time (or in advance!)
Talk About Your Progress
Sure, no one wants to hear about how awesome and focused you are all the time, but being honest and open about where you are on your project will help others understand what you’re goal is, and also keep you accountable for your progress. It’s also a reminder to yourself to focus on where you’re at and where you need to be!
Ask For Help
Feeling behind, uninspired, or just done? Ask for the help you need. It might mean asking a friend to have a work date with you on the weekend, or talking to your boss about an extra day or two on the deadline. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, and shouldn’t be looked at that way. Think about it as gaining a resource.
Remind Yourself of the Goal
Sure you’ve got a deadline, but WHY is it important to reach that deadline? Whether its because you want to pass your class, or impress your boss, or make more money, there’s a reason behind that deadline. Thinking about the bigger picture means you’re more likely to feel motivated, and focused.
How do you stay focused when you’ve got a large project or a distant deadline? Let me know!