We're getting to the end of the summer, and I'm guessing that many of you have final projects to work on in your ELI or other classes (or even big projects at work). Sometimes facing a big project can be overwhelming. One of the best ways to get going on a big project, especially if you feel like you don't know where to begin or are stressed about how you'll ever get it done, is to break the project down into smaller tasks.
For example, let's say you have a research paper to write. You could break that big project down into a series of smaller tasks, such as: come up with three possible topics; do some online research to help select topic; clear topic with professor; search library catalog and databases for books and articles to use in paper; read sources and take notes; write paper outline; ... etc. You get the idea! (You can also make your list more specific as you go along. For example, once you have found your books and articles, you can make your list show each one you need to read, so that each one is a separate task.)
Once your project broken down like this, it's easier to get started. Thinking "I need to work on my research paper!" can be overwhelming, but thinking "I will spend 15 minutes doing one task on my research paper list" is much less threatening. And, as you knock off each item on the list, you'll be surprised how quickly you get to accomplishing that larger goal!
What techniques do you use to tackle a big project for school or work?