How to Tackle a Difficult Work Project

Read the latest industry updates and events.

We’ve all been there: we have a tough work project that we are absolutely dreading. It might be something that we don’t have much experience with, or it might be a task that we find overwhelming. Whatever the reason, the project looms over us like a dark cloud and we can’t seem to summon the motivation to get started. But fear not! There are strategies you can use to tackle even the most overwhelming project.


Here are some steps you can take to get started:


Break it down

One of the reasons we dread a project is because it seems too big or too complicated. But often, if we break the project down into smaller tasks, it becomes much more manageable. Start by listing out all the tasks involved in the project, and then break those tasks down into smaller steps. Focus on completing one small task at a time, rather than worrying about the entire project.


Set a deadline

Without a deadline, it’s easy to procrastinate on a project. Set a realistic deadline for yourself that allows enough time for unexpected challenges or revisions, then work backward from your deadline date to determine when you need to complete each task. This will help you stay focused and motivated, and will ensure that you complete the project on time.


Create a plan

Once you have broken the project down into smaller tasks and set a deadline, create a plan for how you will complete each task. Determine what resources you will need, how much time each task will take, and in what order you will complete the tasks. Ask yourself: which tasks are essential for the project’s success? Prioritize these tasks. Using project management tools such as Gantt charts or task management software to visualize and track progress can help you stay organized and motivated.


Start with the easiest task

Sometimes the best way to get started on a project is to tackle the easiest task first. Completing a task quickly and easily will give you a sense of accomplishment and momentum, which will help you tackle the more difficult tasks later.


Take breaks

Working on a big project can be exhausting, both mentally and physically. Take breaks as needed to recharge your batteries. Go for a walk, take a nap, or do something else that relaxes you. Just make sure to set a timer so that your break doesn’t turn into procrastination!


Ask for help

If you’re struggling with a project, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Delegate responsibility where appropriate and assign tasks to team members based on their skills and expertise. Reach out to coworkers, friends, or family members who might be able to offer advice or assistance. Sometimes just talking through the project with someone else can help you see it in a new light.


Tackling a dreaded project can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. You can conquer even the most overwhelming project – the key is to stay focused, motivated, and organized, and to take things one step at a time. Good luck!


DW Simpson can help you in taking the next, exciting steps in your actuarial career. Find us at