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My work consists mainly of writing quite extensive reports that will take me about 15 hours over a two week period, effective time. Only about five of these hours is spent in planned meetings. The rest of the time, those ten hours, is spent just writing that report. Now, how do i use OF to pace myself and actually do that work in time, and not just have a reminder last day that my report is due and i have ten hours of hard work in front of me? :-)
What I have started to do is the following (still working out the kinks)

If I have a large reading project I name it "read 78 page report x" and then under that I break out the reading into read pages 1-10, 11-20 etc, or if appropriate ch 1, ch 2. Then I set due dates for the smaller actions and the FINAL due date for the whole project

This is still not perfect and may not work for writing projects as well.
You say "not just have a reminder last day that my report is due". If you are using due dates for actions (or projects) you should consider using start dates for actions as well. This way a long term action will appear on your to-do list well in advance - in fact, it will be there as a reminder every day. The previous suggestion is a possibility, but if you get off track, you'd have to re-examine each action and possibly change dates.

You don't say how you handle a writing assignment - is it a project? If so, you'd have to decide whether to have one action (write the report), in which case, it should be a singleton task. Or you can break it down into components, if possible, as actions with start and due dates [1) meeting, 2) write report]

I also have an occasional long term project (I just finished one today - preparing a promotion case). But that does break down into many sequential actions, unlike your report project.

Last edited by pvonk; 2008-01-29 at 05:45 PM..
If your report has different sections then this might be a good starting point to break things down:

Report of My Work Project
-> Introduction
-> Past Projects
-> Objective of this Project
-> Work done in this Project
-> Discussion and Outook

Then you might brainstorm about what to write in the chapters and put these things as sub-tasks:

-> Past Projects
-- -> Bob's project on nuclear power plants
-- -> Alice's project on nuclear waste disposal

Finally, you would end up with a quite detailed outline of your report. You then probably need to reorder things a bit (i.e., you might want to write the introduction last), set sequential/parallel flags as necessary and start writing following the "Available Actions" shown in the Context View.

If you get stuck during writing because you need to do some research on a particular point, need to wait for a report to be turned in by some college or so, then make a sub-task for that - it will be captured in the system and you can go on doing other things (e.g. writing a different section of the report):

-- -> Bob's project [sequential]
-- -- -> Wait for Bob's report @waiting
-- -- -> Finalize "Bob's project" section @mac

To clarify: The idea is that each outline item is a single action, i.e. each section is a single thing that has to be done (and I wrote "Bob's project" instead of writing "Write section about Bob's project" because I find it nicer to see the outline of the report). If you then actually work on this task and find that you can't complete it in one run, then obviously it somehow breaks down into a group of actions that need to be done to accomplish "Write section about Bob's project": You need to wait for his report and then write the section.
The guideline is to have every task take no more than 20 minutes and really, how much can you work on something intensly?

Try breaking it down by time chunks.

Work on big report are for 30 minutes


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