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Tackling big projects

Why big projects are hard

Larger tasks like essays, presentations, and projects often involve many steps and take a long time to complete. This makes them overwhelming. It also makes it difficult to estimate how much time you’ll need to complete them. As a result, you may find yourself procrastinating and then running out of time. By breaking tasks down into parts, they will feel more manageable and you will be able to plan the time necessary to complete them.

Signs you need help tackling big projects

  • You don’t know how to start a project
  • You feel overwhelmed by managing all the different parts of a project
  • You keep procrastinating
  • You need to spread the work required to complete a project over multiple work periods
  • You have not been able to finish similar projects on time in the past

How to plan a big project

To plan a big project, follow these steps:

  1. Use our big project worksheet to break your task down into multiple parts.
  2. Assign deadlines to each part to determine when you’ll need to start (and finish) working on them to meet your deadline. This will require you to estimate time accurately.
  3. Record these deadlines in either your big picture plan or in your daily plan depending on what planning tools you are using and the scope of the project. If you plan to complete it within one week, you can use your daily planning system. If it will take multiple weeks or months to finish, you will need to use your big picture planning system.

Addressing procrastination and motivation

Deadlines are motivating. It can be hard to stay on task when the deadline for completion is far in the future. Addressing procrastination and keeping your motivation levels up is a big part of successfully completing a large project. We recommend that you check out our resources on managing procrastination, coping with setbacks, creating accountability, and taking effective breaks.