Friday, 2 December 2016

Getting to Grips with Planning

Seriously, the MOST important thing you can do right now is to get on with planning your time. 

By this, I do not mean that you plan everything down to the minute and then beat yourself up if you don't achieve it. 

I mean that you list EVERYTHING that you have to do for this paper, and put in a rough date for completion. Break down your writing into the detail of when you will start writing your methodology for your research report. When you aim to finish. When you will start editing and proofing your research report.

Once you have a good plan, anything that you don't get done you move forward so you don't forget it. Those things you get done ahead of time, you change the due date to date achieved. You monitor your progress against your plan.

A good plan is flexible, not hewn in stone.

A good plan will have detail. Small, bite-sized tasks. Your plan should have LOTS small items which, when you think: "Oh. I have 15 minutes - I should be able to knock that job off now", will really help you stay on track.

Your plan will be realistic. You need to as accurately as possible cost your tasks in terms of your hours. Remember that you are expected to throw 300 hours at this project, so break your time down according to whether you want to pass, or whether you want an A (add a factor of 33% for an A).  

It will include who is responsible, what you need to complete first, and what day - and sometimes what time - you will start items. It will include enough detail for you to remember exactly what that particular tasks is going to entail five months after you wrote it.

Your plan should help you when you lose track or lose confidence. If your planning is done in enough detail, you can just keep plodding through your task list. It will carry you forward when you can temporarily not see your path. 

For ideas of what to include in your research plan, check out the plan template here. For ideas of how many hours you need to allocate to certain tasks, check out the Tasks matched to Learning Outcomes here.

Also remember that you are MANAGEMENT students. Planning is a key part of your professional persona. This is your opportunity to hone your planning skills.

In addition, a good plan will help you get great marks for your progress reports.


Sam

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