So I’m sitting here at work, severely struggling to find the motivation to keep working on a project that I’ve had for several weeks…and will likely still be working on in several more weeks.
I’d scour the internet for ways to find some motivation, but that requires effort, which I do not have.
Instead, I’m compiling my seven best ways to get a project done…and maybe in writing this out, I’ll be able to get back on track and focus:
1. Understand what your project actually is. If you don’t know, you’re going to waste a lot of time researching (or trying to and epically failing); so if you don’t know what you need to do, speak to your boss and get a clear idea of what he/she wants.
2. Set a deadline. Once you know what you need to do, set a reminder in your calendar of when it’s due.
3. Make a timeline. So you’ve got an end-date, now you just need to work backwards and figure out what you need to make that end goal possible. For me, I needed to have read my initial case, then read related (and what has turned out to be a bunch of UNRELATED stuff), and then I have to put it all together in a little memo for my boss that basically condenses everything into a fifteen minute cliff notes version of all my sweat and many tears.
4. Start working early. Even if you deadline is months away, your timeline should have regular goals that keep you on track…and when you’ve finished those, you can always get more done so you leave a little breathing room at the end of your timeline to relax and/or make any necessary corrections.
5. Treat yourself. Reward a job well done, whether that’s a coffee, a victory lap around the office so the lights don’t turn off because you’ve been sitting down for so long, or a quick perusal on instagram of cute puppies. Whatever it is, don’t get bogged down in work.
6. Ask questions. It’s bound to happen because you can’t know everything. If you encounter a roadblock or other issue with your project, tell your boss as soon as it happens. No one lines nfinding out the job didn’t get done weeks ago and you just did nothing. Don’t be afraid to speak up, because if you ask earlier on in the process, you’re less likely to stress both yourself and your boss out.
7. Practice, practice, practice. There’s a saying that practice makes perfect; I disagree. I think practice makes habit that we can tease into better habits. So if your first assignment isn’t stellar, that’s not the end of the world. You’ll likely get more efficient in your research and analysis, so give it time and when it doubt, repeat steps 1-6.
What do you think? Helpful? Not? What else would you add to get a project done when your motivation is revving at a 0? Let me know!