I’ve been given the same advice too often, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” I was being careful, working in small amounts, and then I did the exact thing I was told to avoid. I chocked on a mouthful of dry Cheerios. In retrospect this literal example was just an ironic coincidence. My actually project is less about how much I bit off and more about how I need to ‘chew’ or process each piece before I swallow.
Thank goodness for the mildly stressful, but ultimately helpful, tools of organisation I’ve been provided with. If you want this looped in with the metaphor, these tools are the teeth that help me bite off and chew my work. The most recent is a Gantt chart. If you don’t know, a Gantt chart is simply a chart that schedules tasks and their level of completion. The Gantt chart I am using to organise my project is the timeline below.
My timeline has aided my focus immensely. The title, “Actually…” is not a bad joke, but the title of the game I am creating. The yellowish line that drops down is today, the day I’m on. The most important part of the chart is the purple lines. The dark purple sections are what I have completed and the light purple is what I have left to accomplish. The dark purple should reach approximately the yellow line and when the purple line ends, I should be done that task.
You will notice that I am on track. I am ahead on several tasks and behind on a couple which averages out my workload. I have been making a point of accomplishing a task that I can check off daily. This has kept me motivated, on track, and feeling confident. My progress is consistent and I am working at a pace that I can easily maintain for the remainder of the semester. The most frustrating element of the timeline is the tasks that I am ninety percent done but cannot yet check off. That task is currently card production.
In order to do more formal tests I need a polished rough draft of the game. The card production is a tedious process. I am typing, formatting, copying, and saving. It just keeps going on and on and on and on… ugh. I have currently completed 160 of the 200 cards. Once I have finished the cards, I will print the latest draft of my instruction manual and begin card and instruction manual beta testing. This will take up most of my time for the next few weeks.
I am feeling optimistic about my project. I have been seeing improvement in my abilities, such as, how I communicate my ideas. I hope that I can keep using these teeth to bite down my project into chew-able pieces. I don’t want a “hard to swallow” final product. So, I will be sure to chew before I swallow. Most importantly, I am eating Cheerios one at a time.