Task Preparation – Didem Ekici

Didem Ekici

Supplemental Instruction Graduate Intern

Didem is the Learning Center Graduate Intern for Supplemental Instruction (SI) and she supports USF undergraduate students in their roles as Supplemental Instruction Leaders. Didem earned her Master of Education with TESOL concentration at Salem State University in Massachusetts and moved to the Bay Area a few years ago to pursue her doctoral education in International and Multicultural Education at University of San Francisco, where she works as a teaching assistant now. In addition to 9 years of teaching experience with linguistically and ethnically diverse students, she also worked with ESL students and immigrant families in different projects. Didem is currently the Director of Coordination in a non-profit peace building organization, Applied Ethics/Pax Populi.

“What is the chief way in which you prepare for an important task? What person, thing, or situation
influenced you to prepare in the way that you do?”


Two things really affect the way I get prepared for an important task; the amount of time I have
and the importance of the task. I will walk you through the steps to the preparation of an
important task but please keep in mind that everybody has a unique personality which also
affects the way they approach tasks. Therefore, it is very important to know about yourself; in
other words, become more self-aware. For example, if you are a very detail oriented person
and spend extra time on details, your steps might be slightly different. Therefore, it might be a
good idea to consciously observe yourself and note down the things you spend more time on,
the things you are good at and you do quickly. Here are the steps that work well for me;

1- Figuring out what we expect from this important task as an outcome is the most
important step since it determines the rest of the preparation process. In other words,
you should set your goal first while working on an important task. For example, at the
end of this presentation, “I would like to persuade my audience to…” or “I would like to
get an A from this final exam”. On the other hand, if your goal is to only give information
about a topic in your presentation or if you need only a B on your final exam, then the
way you get prepared for the tasks would be different. Therefore, please decide on
what you want and set your SMART goals first before moving forward.
2- After you decide on your goal, you should think about how much time you need to
achieve this goal. The amount of time you have determines how effective and practical
you should be. For example, you can get ready for the same task in seven days or in
seven hours. If you have seven hours, you have to be more focused and work on it more
intense. On the other hand, if you have seven days, you can spread the preparation time
throughout the week but the outcomes and the consequence might be different
depending on how you prepare. Therefore, please keep in mind how much time you
have and whether you can achieve your goal in that time frame.
3- Now that you have a goal and time frame, you can decide on the tasks that need to be
done by the deadline. Breaking down the tasks into more manageable pieces is very
important at this point since these smaller pieces make the tasks seem more achievable
and prevent you from procrastinating. For example, if you have a presentation and if
you do not know where to start, it might be intimidating and prevents you from sitting
down and doing the task. However, if you break it down into smaller pieces such as;
a- Decide on the important topics you will touch on (how much information
you will share with the audience),
b- Prepare the power point with short notes on each slide
c- put your visuals on each slide and
d- Finally, rehearse, rehearse rehearse…

You can also set a time frame or deadline for each task. You can apply this technique for
everything. Believe me, after you complete each task, you will feel better and more
determined to finish the whole task 

4- Review! Always review what you have done before the final outcome and go back to
your goal to see if the final version of your task aligns with your goal(s). If not, ask
yourself which parts need to be changed. After making the necessary changes, you are
are done.
Just relax and enjoy the feeling of achieving an important task. Rewarding
yourself with an ice cream might be a good idea 
In this process, please always remember Benjamin Franklin’s words; “By failing
to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Good Luck!

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