Hope for your financial life and beyond

How to Tackle a Huge Looming Project

Hard motivational quote

Step up to the challenge!

Probably the biggest hurdle to getting your CPA license is the CPA Exam. It’s pretty tough — there are four sections that must all be passed in 18 months and the current pass rate hovers around 50%. Each section is either 3 or 4 hours long.

I’m happy to say that two years ago I passed all four sections in about 5 months. I’ll talk about some of the specific things I did to pass in a later post. The general steps that I used can apply to any huge task that you may be facing.

Take a look at some of the suggestions below to see if they can help you tackle your next huge project.

Learn as much as you can about it

Read and learn and then read and learn some more. Whatever your project is, someone else has done something just like it, or at least similar. I guarantee someone has blogged about it or griped about it on some message board. It’s important to read about others’ experiences. This step is good to do at the outset in order to learn as much as you can, but it can also to help to read about others’ experiences while you are in the middle of the project to give you motivation to press on.

Similarly, you need to read and learn from the official guidelines for your project. Whether that’s from a boss, your teacher, or from the professional organization, it’s crucial to know what is expected of you straight from the source. Don’t skip this step and assume you know what to do!

Get the proper resources

Think about your project — there must be some resources that you need to use in order to complete it. It may be some research at a library, or study materials or other supplies. If you need to pay for these resources, you need to judge how important the project is versus the cost of the materials, and how much they may help.

I decided to purchase a comprehensive review course to help me study for the CPA Exam. I didn’t get the top of the line, but what I ended up getting wasn’t cheap, either (Roger CPA Review, if anyone is interested). Could I have passed by piecing together various study books purchased used off of eBay? Probably, but I think it would have made the road needlessly more difficult, and this was something that we wanted to get done quick.

Get some support

Support from other people, I mean.

Make sure that your family and friends are behind you. If this is a big project, it’ll probably take some sacrifices on your part, and you may be missing in action while you complete it. Will your friends be bugging you to go out when you really should be working? Does your family understand how important completing the project is to you? The support of your family and friends is vital.

Kick it in high gear

Just do it, dude. Get it in to gear — and do it. So what if you need to pop in some good 80s rock to get motivated — if that’s what it takes, then do it. Keep your eye on the goal, sit down, block Facebook off your computer and do it.

Do you have a project coming up that you are dreading? Have you used any of these steps successfully in the past to help?  How do you get geared up to tackle a big project? What tunes help you get motivated?

Image from Kayla Wys at Pinterest

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Prior Post: My Fight Against Bandwagon Consumer Syndrome

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Comments

  1. I have gone back and forth on whether to get a CMA, as I am an accountant but majored in finance so I’m not eligible for the CPA. For now I am not pursuing it, but if I do I will need to set aside about 15 hours a week for a year (that’s an estimate, could be more). Instead I am pursuing my side hustles and doing some on-the-job learning at work to try to pivot into a more data/IT-intensive job. Great tips for tackling a huge project, though. My biggest project seems tiny compared to your example but I’m rebuilding a pretty large two-tiered retaining wall this Summer, and I hope to DIY when I take a week of PTO. Plus put in a bigger patio area. Researching and learning as much as I can before starting should greatly increase my chance of success.

    • I have heard a lot of good things about the CMA, but I think you are wise to put it aside if it’s not something you are pursuing whole-hog. I wouldn’t be surprised of you get more benefit from concentrating on the IT side, since there is such a strong need for people with those skills. Good luck with the retaining wall!

  2. Congratulations! Big accomplishment. I know.

  3. So fun!!
    I have our President’s Club deadline at the end of June and work’s been kicked up into high gear 🙂
    I have my goals plastered across my screen at work – I have to make this happen!
    For inspiration, I have 4 songs on repeat while I’m working out in the gym or driving to work:
    1. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
    2. Lose Yourself by Eminem
    3. Juicy by Notorious B.I.G.
    4. I’m the Man by Aloe Blacc
    Nothing gets me more pumped!

  4. Done by Forty says:

    I have a similar certification that I’ve been procrastinating about (CPSM). The books just sit there, and I have to complete it this year as part of my work goals for 2014. “Just Do It” is a great and simple way to break down the myths of procrastination. I’m not working on it simply because I’m not working on it…

    • It helped me to actually schedule my exams. That way I had a deadline that was approaching so I knew I had to get it done. I know that many people would wait to schedule until they “felt ready”, and then ended up putting it off because they never really felt ready.

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