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Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Where Do I Even Start?" Six Tips for Tackling Big Jobs

 #StudySunday #HomeworkHelp #SixSteps #Learning #Education #Essay #TipsAndTricks #Lifehack #Productivity #Procrastination #HowTo
   "Where do I even start?"

   When you're faced with a big project, it's an easy question to ask yourself. Staring down a huge mess, or a big blank page, can make your eyes glaze over  as your brain translates that image into "Work". If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed trying to tackle a Goliath of a job, don't put it off! Instead, try these six tips to help organize your thoughts, and make sense of the chaos.


1) Generalize - Get a basic idea of what you're doing, and what you want to accomplish.

2) Take Inventory - figure out what you have to work with, and what you need, so you don't waste time hunting for tools and resources as you go.

3) Break it Down - A "big job" is really just a bunch of smaller jobs put together. Identify as many of these mini-goals as you can.

4) Prioritize - As you break down your goals, you may notice that some are more pressing than others. For example, certain goals are time-sensitive, or necessary to complete before beginning work on other goals. Identify these high-priority goals, and put them at the top of your to-do list when you outline your plan.

5) Do Something - Now that you've narrowed down your options, get to work! The absolute worst thing you can pick to do first is nothing. As soon as you start chipping away at it, and making progress, it will be easier to get into the groove of working.

6) Reassess and Repeat - As a project goes on, particularly if it's a long-term project, things may change that will shift your priorities. It's important to be adaptable, and modify your plan if need be.

   If this method sounds pretty generalized, that's because it is. You can apply it to just about anything. For example, I found it especially helpful for completing homework assignments as a teenager. Because I was homeschooled, I was given a lot of independent study time. It taught me to work things out for myself, for those times when there weren't step-by-step instructions to follow. Soon I found out I could tackle other jobs in the same way I approached my assignments.

   For an example of these six steps applied, here's what the would look like if I had to.. say..  do a report about ninjas.

1) Generalize - My job is to learn about ninjas. Find out how they lived, what they did, and why it worked. Somehow communicate this in a five page essay.

2) Take Inventory - Stock my folder with paper and pencils. Look online for websites with good information. Make a note of how much time I have to finish the report.

3) Break it Down - I'll need to read the websites, take notes, organize my info into categories, write an outline, cross-reference my info for accuracy, make a rough draft, proofread, make a final draft, date and sign my paper.

4) Prioritize - Of course I have to do the notes and the reading before I do anything else. I'll get a rough idea of what subjects I'll focus on as I gather information, and mark my notes as I go. That will, of course, lead to making an outline, which will lead to a rough draft, then proofreading, etc.

5) Do Something - Should I go to HowStuffWorks.com or Wikipedia first? At this point, it doesn't matter. The important part is to start reading one of them, and get to work. Then, following my list of priorities, one thing will lead to another.

6) Reassess and Repeat - Ah dang! It turns out that those sweet Katana swords I was hoping to do a nice little paragraph about actually weren't used by ninjas hardly at all. They're..  more of a Samurai thing. Oh well, it turns out ninjas have plenty of cool weapons and gadgets on their own. I just need to start that part over and work it in.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, you may also like to check out some of my other posts. Here's what I recommend now:
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