Monday, October 20, 2014

Figuring Out Where to Start

This past summer, I was hit with the realization that I would have to apply for college in the fall. Of course, I had known this for a while, but it didn't seem real until then. I was immediately overwhelmed as I had no idea whatsoever where to start. The essays were what was really getting to me because I had so many to write, yet no idea what to write about. I'm now smack in the middle of the process, and since the summer, I've learned a lot about breaking down extremely immense tasks, so I thought I would share my tips.

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1.  Take Notes
Before starting anything, look at what you have to do, and make lists/take notes on the topic. If it's an essay, brainstorm by typing out your thoughts on the prompt and possible phrases you want to use. If it's a big assignment, do a little research and take some notes that skim the surface so you can have an idea about what you want to do.

2. Set Aside Time
Instead of feeling like you have to work hours and hours on end on something, set a timer for thirty minutes or an hour and simply stop working once that time is up. You'll have accomplished something without feeling like you've spent too much time on it.

3. Put Your Phone Away
Seriously, this is a must. I personally like to put my phone in my sock drawer so I'm not tempted to touch it. Make sure to put it somewhere where you can still hear a timer go off, though, if you're going to use tip #2.

4. Make a To-Do List
But not a to-do list for the entire project. Take a few minutes to figure out what you want to get done for the chunk of time you've set aside to work on your task. This is essential to breaking up your project into manageable parts. Plus, who doesn't love checking off a box on a to-do list?

5. Give Yourself Mini-Deadlines
Write down a few dates and what you want to have done by those on a sticky note and place it where you'll see it often. This will allow you to meet smaller goals in order to achieve the larger goal of completing your project.

What are your tips for breaking down large tasks?


1 comment:

  1. I totally feel your pain! I'm a senior too and these applications are kicking my butt :( but hey it will all be worth it in the end!(:
    & yes, I find that making lists help SO much!

    Good luck with those applications