How to Tackle a Long-Term Project

Working on the same project for months or years on end can be draining. But those long-term projects often have the most benefit to our careers, which means they’re practically unavoidable. That’s why we compiled the following tips to help you out.

  • Research. This should come as no surprise — but any long-term project or task that impacts your career will require research. A lot of it. So be as thorough as you can. This goes above and beyond reading articles or case studies. Talk to your colleagues and superiors and ask them for advice. What do they know now that they wished they’d known before starting a project like yours?
  • Organize. Even if you have all the data you need, you’re not ready to start work yet. Your next step is to organize yourself and your resources. How long do you expect this project to take? What do you need for it to be completed? What other tasks will you be required to do while working on this project? If you have a team working with you, this is the time to decide who does what.
  • Manage your time. We’ve repeated this time and again but it’s too important to forget. If you have to schedule every minute of your day in iCal, do it — and anything else you need to keep yourself on track. You’ll also want to remember to budget some extra time. You never want to be working right up to your deadline. What if something takes longer than you thought it would? Make sure you account for that.
  • Chunk it. Whether your project lasts a few weeks or a few years, the easiest way to get through something daunting is to break it down. Break each task down into sub-tasks, and keep going until it can’t be broken down anymore. This way, everything looks way less intimidating — and therefore way easier. The best part? This strategy can be applied to pretty much every profession.
  • Remember the big picture. While you’re tearing through your to-do list, make sure you keep the big picture in mind. This is what’s going to keep you motivated while you’re working. If at all possible create a visual representation of your goal and put it somewhere so you can look at it whenever you need an extra boost.
  • Schedule downtime. If nothing else, remember to do this! The last thing you need is to be burnt-out. So make sure you pencil in some mandatory downtime for yourself.

Enjoyed this? Check out How to Deal with Discouragement at Work!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian

Working on the same project for months or years on end can be draining. But those long-term projects often have the most benefit to our careers, which means they’re practically unavoidable. That’s why we compiled the following tips to help you out.

  • Research. This should come as no surprise — but any long-term project or task that impacts your career will require research. A lot of it. So be as thorough as you can. This goes above and beyond reading articles or case studies. Talk to your colleagues and superiors and ask them for advice. What do they know now that they wished they’d known before starting a project like yours?
  • Organize. Even if you have all the data you need, you’re not ready to start work yet. Your next step is to organize yourself and your resources. How long do you expect this project to take? What do you need for it to be completed? What other tasks will you be required to do while working on this project? If you have a team working with you, this is the time to decide who does what.
  • Manage your time. We’ve repeated this time and again but it’s too important to forget. If you have to schedule every minute of your day in iCal, do it — and anything else you need to keep yourself on track. You’ll also want to remember to budget some extra time. You never want to be working right up to your deadline. What if something takes longer than you thought it would? Make sure you account for that.
  • Chunk it. Whether your project lasts a few weeks or a few years, the easiest way to get through something daunting is to break it down. Break each task down into sub-tasks, and keep going until it can’t be broken down anymore. This way, everything looks way less intimidating — and therefore way easier. The best part? This strategy can be applied to pretty much every profession.
  • Remember the big picture. While you’re tearing through your to-do list, make sure you keep the big picture in mind. This is what’s going to keep you motivated while you’re working. If at all possible create a visual representation of your goal and put it somewhere so you can look at it whenever you need an extra boost.
  • Schedule downtime. If nothing else, remember to do this! The last thing you need is to be burnt-out. So make sure you pencil in some mandatory downtime for yourself.

Enjoyed this? Check out How to Deal with Discouragement at Work!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian

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