Track your progress

Once you have broken down the main, complex task into smaller ones, it is important to plan your time and keep track of your progress.

Since disruptions are inevitable and some tasks may take longer than anticipated, you should plan to review and adjust your timeline based on your circumstances.

A simple Gantt Chart can help you stay on track. A Gantt Chart is a visual timeline that helps you to set a deadline for the specific tasks/steps towards your main submission deadline.

Example of a Gantt chart which defines the start and end periods for various steps in a complex assessed task.

Another option is a Kanban board. This can be as simple as an A3 piece of paper with three columns marked ‘to do’, ‘doing’, and ‘done’, and a sticky note for each step in the task, so that you can track your progress.

Example of a Kanban with ‘to do’, ‘doing’, and ‘done’ columns.

The process is simple, but effective:

  • Create a card for each stage/step of the research project.
  • Put those in the 'to do' column.
  • On each card:
    • Write a brief description
    • Include a deadline for each step to make it easy to judge if you are on-track or not.
  • When you start a step, move that card into the 'doing' column. You may need to work on multiple steps at a time, but try not to have more than two cards in this column at a time.
  • When you complete a step, move its card into the 'done' column.


Adjust backwards, not forwards! When you anticipate a setback or delay in advance, get in the habit of bringing your timeline backward to an earlier date, instead of pushing it to a later date.

Watch the following video for tips on breaking down the task and tracking your progress.