Establishing a Timeline
One of the key ways to achieve organization is to establish a timeline. In order to do this, it is important to know the end goal. From there, due dates need to be established along with mini goals that work toward the end goal. It is important to leave enough time to accomplish tasks and leave some spared time in the case that something comes up.
It is important when establishing a timeline that you outline the whole project. This outline does not have to be too specific, but it gives the general idea of what you want to accomplish, the timeframe you have, and what has to be done before the project is considered completed. It is best to complete this timeline as soon as a project is assigned to you so that you can maximize the amount of time you can work on the project. This can be considered as breaking down the project into mini projects.
- Due dates
- Estimate how long each task will take
- Have extra room if something comes up
- Organizational skills
- Have goals
For some projects, certain tasks cannot be completed until the ones before it are done. For example, the walls of a house cannot be painted until the actual walls are put up and the foundation is set. Keeping this in mind will allow you to thoroughly plan out what you need to do and how to move forward with the project.
Time can be tricky when establishing a timeline. The best thing to do is to estimate or calculate how much time you need to complete each task. These should also have due dates that can be reasonably met. This is purely based on how you believe you can get things done. If there are other people working with you, it may be easier to set a deadline for everyone because they are contributing to the project and would be a group effort. Whether you are working on it alone or with a group, it is important that when calculating the total time needed to complete the tasks associated with the project that there is some wiggle room in case there is a setback and be behind schedule.
It is also important to keep track of any supplies or resources that would be needed to complete the project. Setting aside time to obtain these resources will maximize productivity and will not have to waste time waiting for resources to arrive. It is best to think ahead of what you will need and when the time comes where a certain task needs a certain resource, it is readily available.
To some people, it may seem unnecessary, but actually drawing your timeline will help visualize what you have to do and what time you have left. This can be drawn out as an old-fashioned timeline or even a flowchart. As long as you can see what needs to be done in what order, then that’s more than enough.
For group projects, once the timeline is set up and established, it should be shared with everyone that is involved. That way, everyone has a sense of what is going on and what is going to happen in the near future. It is also important that if there are any sudden changes that they be informed so that they can adjust as well. As long as everyone is on the same page and contributing to the end goal, then everything will be smooth sailing!