Personal Project was a huge part of my Grade 10 school life and it was the project that required me the most management and organization skills out of all other projects and tasks I’ve done both at school and outside of school. I started this project at the very end of Grade 9 and continued in Grade 10 until March 9th, which is more than half a year. For this project, I made a goal to “spread Japanese culture to YIS community, specifically to young students”. This project required me a lot of things: researching, planning, contacting teachers, going to the ELC class, creating the product, evaluating, setting up the exhibition and writing up the report. Since there were so much things, it was a must to plan out all of the things we had to do. I created an action plan with columns for tasks, time required, resources, notes/reflection adjustments, ideal date complete and a checklist. I also added small milestones so that I can focus on getting things done step by step. Here is a screenshot of the action plan:
I found that highlighting upcoming tasks in orange and completed tasks in green was a really effective way for me to not get overwhelmed by the number of tasks I had and to concentrate on what I had to complete now.
At the start of this project, it was quite difficult for me to complete tasks by the ideal deadline. At first, I thought that it would be alright if I didn’t complete tasks on time, as long as I got them done soon. However, I began to notice that the tasks were piling up and that I didn’t have enough time. From this, I realized and convinced myself that I needed to work on this project diligently — not leaving everything until the very end, but completing tasks step by step, working on it for few hours every week. I set a reminder for every tasks on my computer so that it would remind and notify me about every tasks. I also moved my working space from my room to the living room, so that my mom will be there to check that I was actually working. This was really effective, and I began ticking the boxes much earlier than before. I was able to hand in my final draft of the report on March 9th with the quality that I wanted.
One thing that I realized at the end of this project is that huge projects like this one isn’t scary if I break them to small pieces. At the start of the year, the amount of work I had to do was overwhelming and I couldn’t figure out where to begin. However, creating milestones was definitely helpful to guide me and to make sure that I didn’t get side-tracked. During IB, I will need to work on the Extended Essay, which is a big project like the PP. I will definitely use what I have learned about self-management from this experience when I start my EE.