Back-to-School 101 – Time Management Tip: How to Complete a Project in a Timely Manner

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How to Complete a Project in a Timely Manner

Do you wait until the last-minute to begin a school project or assignment?

Perhaps you are no longer in school, but are looking to complete a personal project of your own sometime in the next few weeks or months?

Today’s post tackles one of the most popular time management questions of all…how to complete a project in a timely manner.

Mark or set a due date in your calendar.

This is a simple, but easy way to make the project appear more tangible or real.

If you’ve been given a due date for your project, actively type or write it in your calendar in a large font or letters, highlight it and/or circle it in your syllabus.

If you have a more flexible project, take the initiative and give yourself your very own due date.

Break your project into four quarters.

Starting with today and ending with your due date, break out your project into four quarters.

The amount of time each quarter holds will depend on how much time you have for any given project.

For example, let’s say you have a project due in eight weeks. You’d divide up the weeks as follows:

Weeks 1 & 2 = First Quarter

Weeks 3 & 4 = Second Quarter

Weeks 5 & 6 = Third Quarter

Weeks 7 & 8 = Fourth Quarter

List project components.

What are the different components involved in your project?

On a piece of paper or in a word processing document, list out all the actionable steps you must take for your project.

Don’t worry about the order just now, just write everything that comes to mind using a verb at the beginning of each step such as the following:

Research general subject

Select detailed subject

Write first draft

Interview first interviewee

Conduct experiment number two

Organize project components.

Now that you’ve created your list, organize all the different pieces of your project into chronological order. Feel free to add in items that you missed in your initial list-making.

When in doubt, always add in an item versus dropping it (you can easily drop an item in future; backpedaling will only cause you more difficulties).

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Drop project components into weeks and quarters.

Using your quarterly and weekly guide, assign different project tasks as necessary.

Be sure to give yourself a mini-deadline for each quarter; you’ll want to have made some headway each quarter when working on your project.

Follow your guide and do your work!

You’ve now created a thorough and detailed road map of what you need to do to complete your project. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

Now to you…what do you find is the most difficult thing about completing a project in a timely manner? Leave a comment below and join in the conversation!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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