If you were to ask someone, “Would you consider Louis an organized individual?” They would respond with a resounding “No, he is not, but he does get everything done”. If I have to be, I can be organized. If you looked at my desk or my room, you would say it looks like a bomb went off in it. Even though that’s true, I still know where everything is in my room. Well, mostly everything. There are times when I need to search through the clutter on the floor or on my desk to find something, but most of the time, I know where everything is.
That also does translate into my work and school life though, unfortunately. You’d think that I would have learned from high school that having a planner helps with remembering and getting things done on time. In high school, I was always on top of getting my work done on time. I never forgot or had to think about what I had to do for a certain class. When I got to college, I never really used a planner. That has caused me to miss some deadlines and sometimes forget what I have due in a class.
This week, I decided to try and remedy this problem I have. I got the application, Trello. Trello’s job is to help you manage your upcoming projects. It’s almost like an online planner. The application couldn’t have come at a better time, because my second graduate class starts this week. In order to prepare myself for the scheduling process, I used Trello to map out the past modules that I had finished throughout the course. The way I went about this, was adding every actionable action into its own category. What I mean by that is, I broke down what I had to do, into the smallest part I could. For example, I have readings to do every week, but “Do the readings” isn’t really actionable. So what I did was I separated what I had to read. This meant, writing out everything that needed to be read for the two weeks of each module.
If you look at Module 1, in my project list, you can see that I’ve separated reading into: read “Article 1”, read “Article 2”, read “Article 3”. Then I put the specific pages I needed to read from the textbook during that specific module. You can also see how I’ve separate the videos that needed to be watched, instead of just saying “watch videos”. Which videos do I need to watch? I have to watch “X”, “Y”, and “Z” before the next class. Getting as specific as possible with what needs to be done helps tremendously in planning out a schedule for the week, and inevitably for the semester.
The only problem I have with creating a schedule is following it. I’m a huge procrastinator and often put things off until the last minute. Which also can cause me to miss due dates. Mapping out what needs to be done is one thing, but I still need to start doing the actual work. I didn’t think that I had that much work to do for ICM501. I would go into each module just thinking, “Okay, I just need to read and do the blog post. There may be another assignment that I have to do as well.” Boy, was I wrong! Once the assignment was broken down into this smallest component, I found out that I have multiple things to do each week, and I need to start doing them much sooner than originally thought.
The process of making a project management plan was definitely eye-opening for me. I really wished I had done this earlier in my college career, rather than starting it after I’ve graduated. At the same time, however, I am trying to start a business with a friend from home so Trello could come in handy with our schedules over the next few months. It’ll be tough to balance two graduate classes, along with trying to start a business, but Trello (or really any project management planning app) could not only help me but also my business partner.
There are a lot of upcoming projects for me in my professional and school life, so I’m not entirely sure whether I’m going to combine the two to see everything that needs to be done for each week, or if I’m going to separate them and go back and forth between the two schedules. I’m currently leaning towards combining the two because having my entire week mapped out on one plan is easier for me to understand than having to switch back and forth multiple ones.
I hope you end up using Trello or another project management plan for your future endeavors, and I will let you all know how my new project management plan comes out. Until then, try and keep stress free.