Long-term projects can be a challenge to complete. However, with a little planning and effort these long term projects can be made more manageable and enjoyable when approached the right way. Here are some tips to help you navigate the process.

1. Small wins can be gratifying

If you’re working on something that won’t be finished for months, it can be overwhelming. Know that small amounts of progress can keep you motivated to push forward. According to HBR, participants in a research study reported positive reactions to completing work even when small steps were completed.

Minor steps count toward  end goals and can help to boost motivation to keep yourself engaged.  If you’d like to keep track of your progress, there are apps like GoalsonTrack and LifeTick that help you capture your goals digitally and follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting framework to accomplish them.

2. Get quick wins elsewhere

It feels gratifying to finish something. If your project is going at a snail’s pace or it feels as though you worked all day to push an iceberg over a centimeter, consider concurrently accomplishing something that can give you a quick win for a sense of completion. Whether it’s work-related or not, try to switch gears and do something completely different. You might even want to incorporate this type of activity into your schedule.

This can be a nice change of pace and allow you to come up for air a bit. Think of it as getting satisfaction from a sprint while you’re running a marathon. It can be something as simple as cleaning your garage, deleting emails or working out for a half hour. I know I like to clean out a closet or two so I can visibly see results in a short amount of time. It quickly gives me a sense of accomplishment if what I’m doing in my work life is advancing slowly.

3. Capture the steps

Record the steps of the project in a tool like Asana. You can stay organized and know what needs to happen next. You won’t have to worry about remembering to do it because you captured it and can retrieve the information when you need it. Once you complete a task, you can check it off digitally and move on to the next item. You can even delegate tasks to others and set deadlines. This can help you finish on time and make the project more manageable overall.

The Bottom Line

Long-term projects can be overwhelming. Use some of the tips mentioned above to stay motivated and productive during this process. Remember,  even completing minor steps can make a difference in how you perform and perceive the project.





Karen is a Nationally Syndicated Personal Finance Writer who sharpens her skills at US News Money. You can also find her placing clients on podcasts and reading about home office organization, productivity and habits.

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