One of the best tools that I used both in college as well as in my professional life is to break a task or project into smaller, more manageable "sprints". A lot of times I find it difficult to motivate myself when faced with a huge commitment and you aren't really sure where or how to start. The problem seems almost insurmountable, so it's easy to become discouraged and tell yourself you'll start on it later. By breaking the project or task into individual sprints, I have been able to be more organized and have stopped procrastinating when I feel lost.
- First, start by identifying what you are trying to complete. Is it writing a paper? Figuring out what college or post-college programs to apply for? Completing a project before the deadline at work?
- Next, break this process down into smaller pieces that are required to complete the task (brainstorm ideas, research these ideas, organize the research and outline your thoughts, flesh out your ideas with supporting information, finalize)
- Complete each task individually, building upon what you completed in the previous step. Maybe one day you spend 30 minutes just listing all of your ideas for the project. The next day, you take an hour to do some research (I like writing information on individual index cards that I can easily look at when organizing my thoughts). Etc until you've completed this project.
- PROOFREAD. Make sure everything makes sense and always check for spelling and grammatical errors