There’s a problem with research. It can stop you getting into action. What do I mean by that? I’ve been talking about creativity and the use of Mind Maps to help determine the content for what you’re working on – essay, report, term paper, proposal – and the sequence of presenting it.
Before you get to the Mind Map, you’ll spend a chunk of time researching what you need to know. And therein lies the problem. Some of us, given half the chance, would spend all our time on research, whether that’s on recommended texts, recognized periodicals, or simply digging in to Google and see where it takes us. Anyone can get lost in Google. All these sources can not only direct us to appropriate material, but material that in turn takes us to yet more sources and so on.
Where do you stop? How many times have you said “I need to do more research.” And maybe you do. But where do you draw the line? Right up to the last minute when you know that essay has to be handed in or that proposal delivered to a client?
My concern is that research does not take you to action; to actually getting that essay written, or that proposal delivered to the client. One of the reasons deadlines work is that they force you to get into the actual doing – writing the essay itself, crafting the proposal.
What does it take? Discipline on your part, on my part. It’s saying I can’t get this written work done by the due date unless the research is done by X. It’s a self imposed deadline. So when you’re figuring out your timeline for completing whatever the project, make sure you give yourself time for the action part – the doing.
I still run into trouble on this one. And though I go into this quite extensively in “Ten Steps to Help You Write Better Essays & Term Papers”, it still bears repeating.