So what have I learned as a result of this whole ordeal regarding effective research/writing? Here is a list (in no particular order):
1) Make sure you know the style you're using like the back of your hand. When you're putting together a project with page numbers that start to go in the triple digits, going back and fixing silly mistakes becomes a chore and eventually a nightmare. Rereading is necessary. But, you'll save yourself a lot of head-aches if you have it right the first time
2) Find someone who can check your writing to make sure it conforms to the style you're using and pay them well
3) Don't use Microsoft Word! I've been told Wordperfect is much more user-friendly
4) Create a template specifically for your project that conforms to whatever style you're using
5) If you drink coffee to help keep you going when you're tired, don't waste your time drinking the weak stuff. Drink straight espresso, at least three shots at a time!
6) Take as many vacations as your budget allows. Even if they're "working vacations," you'll be more productive in the long-run
7) Spend enough time doing the things that help your relax (in my case, fishing and playing vide0-games) but don't overdue it
8) Work as little as possible. Spend all the time you can WORKING in the library and in coffee-shops
9) Don't get side-tracked by pursuing major ventures like trying to rehab a house in less than a year (unless you can afford to pay someone else to do all the work)!
10) Always listen to the advice of your supervisor. Even if they're fairly "green" they probably know more about writing a major work than you do
11) Settle for nothing less than perfection, no matter the cost and how long it takes
12) Use some form of bibliography software (I've found Endnote fairly helpful)
13) Finally (and most importantly), don't let the important things like God, family, and friends suffer