Jun 7, 2011

Time Management for Big Projects

The key to successful completion of a major project is using time management skills. This is not as complicated as it may seem. There is no magical way to look at the big picture and say, "That will take me two weeks." To realistically estimate the time you need to complete a major project, first you must look at all of the parts making the whole.

Create a Project Outline:
Break the project down into a series of portions by creating an outline. The outline shows you how much is involved in the whole project, and this allows you to allocate the right amount of time for that job.
For example, if you are writing a manual, break it up into relevant portions:

I. Complete Project
   A. Part I
        1. Chapter 1
            a. Section A
               1. Step 1
               2. Step 2
            b. Section B
                1. Step 1
                2. Step 2
        2. Chapter 2 . . .

Now that you can see all of the parts making-up the whole, it is time to allocate a set amount of time for each task.

  • Label each chapter and each section by priority
    Highest to lowest
  • Estimate how much time it will take to complete each step
    Make an educated guess

Create a project timeline:
Use some form of calendar and designate set dates for working on each portion of your outline, as well as dates for completing each portion.

Schedule each task

For example: 

Make a daily "To Do" list

For example:

WAIT! You're not finished yet. The hardest part is keeping up with the timeline you have created!

Print it out, write it down, or pin it to your desktop just keep it in a visible place
  • Do not allow the overall picture to overwhelm you, simply focus on the tasks set for the day
  • Complete each of those daily tasks by priority
    Start with the most important and work your way down to the least important
  • As you finish each task, check it off
  • Reward yourself for timely completion
    Happy hour drink with colleagues, dinner out, hobby time, or whatever motivates you

With practice, you too can become a great time manager!


  1. Hi,
    I came to know about your awesome blog and loving your posts..
    Time Management

  2. Looking forward to seeing you back in the 'hood!

    There's a blog award for you on my blog today if you want it!

  3. Thank you, Marcova. I was literally swamped over the summer, and am rather ashamed to admit that I am just now getting back into the blogging.
    Casie, I want to thank you for all of your support and encouragement. You are truly the best.