If you do not see an approved project in the Observation Preparation Tool (OPT), please do not be alarmed. It takes time to create a project in the OPT from a successful proposal. This is currently still done largely by hand, which we hope to automate more and more in the future. So yes, it will take a while before your project appears in the OPT. We expect to remove certain current observing restrictions, and creating a scheduling block now could require you to use constraints which may no longer be in force when your observation occurs. However, if you want to exercise the OPT by creating your own 'practice' Project; go to 'File' and 'Create New Project.' Though Scheduling Blocks belonging to such a project cannot be submitted, they can be copied and pasted into your 'real' project (once it appears). And as part of the 'real' project they can be submitted.
Please note: Once you have heard from us that your project has been awarded time, you can expect access to your project in the OPT around one month before the start of the configuration in which your project was awarded time. This should give you a sufficient amount of time to prepare your scheduling blocks before we start observing in the new configuration.