From undergraduate finals to PhD projects to the biggest breakthrough of your career, large research projects are a fundamental part of your professional journey. Even when you have years to work on a singular project, it’s easier than you think to let that time slip through your fingers. Without the right preparation, planning, and practices, your large research project can turn into much more of an ordeal than it needs to be. Don’t let procrastination or worry get the best of you. Instead, give it your all with these tips for managing a large research project.
Get a Broad Foundation of Knowledge
Before you start digging into the specifics of your research question and all the details you want to focus on, you need to establish a wide base of foundational knowledge. Take the time to read through all the classic texts in your field and create a solid cornerstone of research. This will make it easier to understand, work through, and find more detailed text about your research topic.
Keep Your Notes Organized
Large research projects require significant amounts of information, experiments, and data. You’ll want reliable notes to keep track of everything you’ve done and learned throughout the course of your project. Dedicate a research notebook specifically for this project to keep as much information as possible in one place. Create an organization system for your research and experiments so you can find information easily whenever you need it. The less time you spend sorting through your notes after you make them, the more time you can devote to actually working on your project.
Plan Out Checkpoints and Deadlines
When you feel like you have all the time in the world to finish your project, it’s easy to simply put it off until later. This is why one of the best tips for managing a large research project is to create a schedule for yourself. Separate each step of the project into tasks, divide those tasks into subtasks, and make deadlines for each one. This will help you work steadily and continue to make progress throughout the entire project.