January 22, 2016 - Posted to Tips
Getting Your Project Done: A Guide From Start to Finish
Do you have a hard time getting projects successfully completed? Do you tend to leave them half finished, or have a difficult time getting them started? Worse, do you find yourself repeating tasks because you lose things and are too disorganized? If any of these apply to you, what you may need is a system to help you get things done. Good news! We have that system for you, and it is useful for all types of projects from reorganizing your home, setting up a budget, writing that research paper, to setting up an in home business.
Define What Your Project Will Include And What it Will Not Include
When project managers in the business world begin working on a new project, the first thing they do is define scope. This helps keep expectations in line and prevents the project from becoming too large and lacking in focus. You can do this by simply writing down what you will and will not be doing as part of your project. Remember that it is better to plan for a second phase of a project than it is to try and do too much at once.
Find a Place to Work
Whatever you are working on, you should have a dedicated space to work. Even if you cannot do everything in that space, you can, at the very least have a single place to keep your supplies in order, and keep track of things. If you aren't sure what to use as a work space, consider where you study. This will almost always be a good option for you.
Decide on The Tools You Are Going to Use and Get Those in Order
It may help to think of your project as a recipe. You need tools to get things done. First, there are the physical tools that you will need. This might include home repair tools, paper, notebooks, paintbrushes, pens, pencils, and more. Then, there are the tools that you will use to track your progress, keep things organized, and plan how your project will be executed. Fortunately, there are a variety of apps for creating projects, organizing to do lists, storing notes, and even sending you reminder notices.
Set a Deadline And Budget Time Each Day
Set a deadline for your project, or find out when it is due. Then, figure out how much time each day you will need to spend on the project to get it done on time. Of course, you should apply common sense to this. If your allotted amount of time per day is only a few minutes, or you have exceptionally busy days, then you can obviously plan for days where you don't work on the project. Then, double or triple up the amount of time you spend on the other days.
Split Your Project Into 3 Phases
The 3 phases will be the beginning, the middle, and the end. Then, decide what you want to have accomplished at the end of each phase. This will help you to avoid procrastinating and convincing yourself that you can just do more work later on.
Divide The Work to be Done For Each Phase Into a List of Smaller Tasks
When you divide big projects into smaller chunks, the work seems much less overwhelming. You have already accomplished this to an extent by dividing your project into 3 phases. What you want to do now is create a list of smaller tasks that you will work through during each phase. When you are done, what you have to do will not seem too intimidating. In addition to this, if you tend to lose focus, you will have a very specific list of things to do. When you are done, you can simply check them off your list.
Don't Forget to Use Your Tools
Whatever app or utility that you have decided to use to keep your project organized and on track, will be of no use to you unless you take the time to use it. This means taking the time to enter data, mark items as complete, and adding new tasks to be done. Remember that with productivity tools, there tends to be a fair amount of work up front, but they save even more work once you get into the groove of using them.
Anticipate Where You Will Need Help
As you plan your project, be sure to note when you will need extra help. These might be tasks that you physically cannot do without another person, tasks you would be better off having an expert to, or tasks that you will need additional training to finish on your home. If possible line that help up as early as you can. Whether they are helping with a research paper or shingling your roof, the people you are counting on will appreciate a heads up.
Creating a project plan and mapping out the steps you are going to take is great. However, the longer you take to roll up your sleeves and begin, the more difficult it will be for you to start.