Ready to pull your hair out yet? Frustrated beyond belief that your professor thought it was good idea to assign a group project for your final? I’ve been there. Before you go bald, utilize a few of these techniques and hopefully your group work will run a bit more smoothly.
-Don’t Join your Best Friend’s Project
At the end of the day, you need someone to complain about your group project to, but if the person you usually unwind with is a member of your group (or worse the most obnoxious member of your group) you’ve got a problem. Don’t test your friendships. Work with someone else, someone better.
-Leave at least a 15-minute Leeway
Know ahead of time that the members of your group are probably going to be running late, especially if you’re meeting in the morning. My friend Jen used to always plan our group meetings for 10 AM, but even she wouldn’t make it to the library until noon (something we all knew would happen). So don’t rush to get to your meeting exactly on time, and don’t bother wasting your energy getting annoyed if someone is late. Just bring some other study materials with you.
-Plan on Wasting Time
Nothing ever works out the way it’s planned; no matter how focused your group is on working you’re going to waste time socializing or researching an elusive topic. So plan on it. For every hour you spend in the library, expect to spend an extra 15-30 minutes making up for lost time. That way you’re project won’t be late.
Don’t wait until the last second to tell your group members that you can’t find sources for your section. If you’re having an issue let them know immediately. Maybe they’ll have information you can use, or maybe they’ll know somewhere else you could look.
Listen to other group member’s ideas, and consider putting a few of them into play (even if you like your ideas better) You wouldn’t appreciate it if they just ignored you.
-Don’t be a Slacker
Get your own portion of the work done. After all, how can you expect others to do the work if you aren’t capable or willing to do it?