Sometimes getting started on massive projects feels like this. Photo courtesy of danalipar. Licensed under CC BY-2.0.I don’t know about y’all but this is the time of year where big projects, papers, and tests are already starting to creep up on me. It’s far enough in the semester where we’ve learned enough material to be tested and apply our knowledge, but it’s still not even October, and I’d like a few extra weeks to not think about these big projects. I’d much rather just push it to the back of my mind and deal with smaller, easier tasks.

However, that’s not really an option. So if you’re in the same position as me and need some help getting motivated to start working on those projects, here is a great method that you can try. Lifehacker calls this the dash method.

To start off, grab a timer and set it for ten minutes. You’ve got to start somewhere on your big project, so start with just ten minutes. That’s not very long at all. You’re essentially tricking yourself into getting started by limiting yourself to working for only ten minutes. When your timer goes off, congratulations! You’ve just stopped procrastinating and actually started. And here’s something even better– you get a break! Go walk around, get a drink of water, just something for a few minutes. Because next, you’re going to do it again.

After you’ve done a couple of ten minute dashes, you’ll start to realize, “Hey. I am actually getting some of this stuff done.” And instead of wanting to go for only ten minutes, you’ll find yourself on a roll. So now, adjust your timer to go for longer and longer dashes. The goal is to work yourself up to 30 to 60 minute dashes. It depends on your energy, attention span, and your own personal preferences.

According to Lifehacker, what you’re doing is creating self-imposed deadlines. The deadlines in this case aren’t to stress you out, but they’re to help you make and create goals for yourself. This short time span to work on a specific project will keep you focused, and you’ll be surprised about how much you can get done in those dashes.

Meeting your goals in the form of these dashes will further help you in finishing those huge projects because you’re creating milestones for yourself. Every one you accomplish gets you towards your bigger finish line and the smaller sense of accomplishments will give you more and more motivation to keep going.

On your next big project, use the dash method to see if it can help you stop procrastinating and get on with it.

What do you do to help you stop procrastinating on big projects? Would you try the dash method?

[via Lifehacker]