Mostly I make lists for projects. This can be daunting. Breaking something big into its constituent parts will help you organize your thoughts, but it can also force you to confront the depth of your ignorance and the hugeness of the task. That's OK. The project may be the lion, but the list is your whip.
By 1954, as an assistant professor with a group of three graduate students, I was able to initiate more complex experimental projects, dealing with the structure, stereochemistry and synthesis of natural products. As a result of the success of this research, I was appointed in 1956, at age twenty-seven, as professor of chemistry.