3 Tips for Starting (and Finishing) a Difficult Assignment


Most professionals don’t procrastinate out of boredom, the compulsion to avoid work, or some misguided hatred of their job. Rather, most of the time, employees procrastinate because they don’t know how to tackle a difficult assignment.

This makes sense, since if you’re confused by your work, you won’t understand where to begin; and if you don’t know where to begin, you’ll look for other things to take your mind of the stress and strain of a tricky task. However, the most industrious pros nevertheless find ways to power through tough projects. And you can work to build good habits in this regard, too. Here are three tips to keep in mind next time you find yourself struggling to get going on a dreaded task:

Utilize Modern Tech

The first step for anyone having difficulty with an assignment is a simple one: Google it. No, using a search engine might not produce the exact results you need to complete a project, but, odds are, you’ll learn something valuable as a result of your query. Even if you’re merely able to refine your search parameters, you’re still making progress and handling the most basic research at the start. At the very least, this should provide you with a basic understanding upon which you can build. Plus, there are more resources online now that can help you study for anything from switching careers to implementing complex technology.

Forget Perfection

No first draft of anything –– a movie, book, website design, or Powerpoint presentation –– has ever come out perfect. The creative process simply doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t matter what type of task you’re tackling –– it’s a guarantee that you’ll need to edit it and review it in order to improve it. Sometimes people become so enthralled with their task they have difficulty getting started at all. Resist this sentiment and instead embrace the foibles and mistakes that accompany good work. Remember, it’s okay to hold yourself to high standards, but don’t let the weight of expectation inhibit your performance.

Make Your Work Relatable

Occasionally, a business assignment may seem so obscure, so esoteric, that you find yourself unable to understand or appreciate it at all. More often than not though, even the most specialized subjects have relatable elements to them. For instance, consider a company like Bee International: Bee manufactures high-pressure homogenizers, which, most of us wouldn’t begin to comprehend. However, high-pressure homogenizers are used to make products like body lotions and creams that we use every day. In the same way, most complex processes and subjects have elements to them that are immediately understandable. Use those pieces of intel you do appreciate to inform your work and make it more accessible to your audience as well. Keep that in mind during your efforts and you’ll likely form cogent, compelling work.


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