It's vital to have a good plan for this long piece of work.
Make a scheduleStart with the deadline and work backwards. It's best to give yourself a false deadline before the real one.
Time each stageThink about how much time you need for each part of the project.
Advance planningWhich sections require advance planning? For example:
- Booking access to rooms/people/equipment
- If you depend on data from participants in surveys or interviews, allow time for contacting them.
- Allow time for interviews and transcribing them afterwards.
- You may need literature that will take some time to access because it isn't readily available in the Library/online.
- Schedule in time for data analysis.
Be realisticAllow time for unexpected delays, such as illness or technical problems.
Break down tasksBreak down long tasks, such as a literature review, into small steps. It will make them feel more manageable.
Other commitmentsNote all your commitments in your schedule, such as other assignments, paid work etc.
Time for learningPlan for time to learn about new things, e.g. creating questionnaires/charts/tables; coding; analysing data
Have breaksInclude some time off in your schedule!
‘Your wellbeing is essential to your work; your mental health and academic ability cannot be separated from your physical health. Help your brain reach its full potential by taking care of your body, getting regular exercise, eating well and ensuring you are sleeping as regularly as possible.'
(Ghaleb, Third-year Geography student)