How does one become more efficient?

posted
17-Jan-17, 14:05
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Beginning to think how the heck am I gonna get all this done (and that is without the writing up)!

Any tips from those who came to this spot before me and made it through?
posted
17-Jan-17, 14:16
edited about 3 seconds later
Avatar for timefortea
posted about 3 years ago
Identify where you waste time. (For me that was procrastinating on Facebook and Mumsnet!) Stop doing it! (I still have these sites blocked on my computer - I have no willpower).
posted
17-Jan-17, 15:40
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
I don't really waste time on activities I'm not supposed to as such... (apart from this forum - but this is helpful and allowed!)... I'm just slow at everything I think!
posted
20-Jan-17, 09:25
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for pixiecup
posted about 3 years ago
Hi Tudor Queen,

Being stressed over thinking of all the things that you have to do burns out a lot of energy. So how I usually get around this is having a monthly plan,weekly plan and a daily plan. To design a monthly plan I down load a monthly calendar with a reasonable space to write down my objectives. you should be realistic in setting your goals. Following achieving a goal I cross this out and it really gave me a feeling of satisfaction. Also when planing your work prioritise your work and I also I made sure that all the necessary areas are included. e.g.: Time for the experiments, reading papers, updating lab book, other admin work etc. Having a plan increased the efficiency and also remember to be kind to your self at times when you did not achieve some goals due to valid reasons. Hope this helps.
posted
20-Jan-17, 14:39
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Hi Pixiecup

Thanks for sharing. Actually this ties in well with a book I'm reading called "Organize yourself" (a general personal development kinda book not a PhD skills one). So it is good to hear it coming from another source as well.
posted
20-Jan-17, 17:54
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
I am submitting in a few weeks- the thesis is written and I am applying final amendments whilst working multiple teaching/research roles.

My advice echos others' here; I use a notebook to write down my monthly 'goals', then each week I make a 'to do' list (crossing a completed task out has always felt satisfying for me) and I also make a 'done' list where I note everything I have done on a daily basis. I found that this works well when feeling a bit demotivated as you can reflect on your accomplishments.

More recently, I deactivated my Facebook which has worked wonders. Instead of checking Facebook I now check and deal with emails (work based). I text/call friends to stay in touch. I am also quite amazed at how less 'cluttered' my head feels having Facebook deactivated. I realised in retrospect that, in addition to the many hours wasted mindlessly scrolling through, that dealing with notifications, messages etc. made me feel quite stressed...it felt like a 'chore'.

Hope this helps :)
posted
20-Jan-17, 23:05
edited about 6 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
This does help - thanks for sharing. I did once have a "done" list too, and it so helped. But something seems to have happened lately where all my great habits have gone to pot and I am just scrabbling about trying to get things down. I need to sort myself out again.

Re Facebook - thankfully I'm not on it. One distraction is checking the news. But I use it as a sort of treat (lol) and at least it doesn't require any replying.
posted
21-Jan-17, 16:35
edited about 38 seconds later
by pm133
Avatar for pm133
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Beginning to think how the heck am I gonna get all this done (and that is without the writing up)!

Any tips from those who came to this spot before me and made it through?



When I had this problem I made a realistic list of what I expected to be enough to get a PhD and then broke it down into manageable tasks.
For me it helped to stop putting the PhD on a pedestal and to focus on doing enough to feel I had earned the award. I stopped worrying about how many papers I was producing and focussed on the one specific thing I wanted to resolve. Once I had done that, it was a simple case of writing the thesis. For that I broke the thesis in chapters, sub chapters and a range of headings and then started to write stuff in each block. As I finished one block I ticked off the item on the contents page in bright yellow marker so I could see visually that I was getting closer and closer to completion. I stopped setting time deadlines and instead focussed on delivering tasks one at a time. It helped hugely that I had papers already published and that I had started the theory chapter 12 months before the end of my PhD.
I submitted the complete thesis to my supervisor this week after 3.5 months of work and I will apparently be getting his feedback on Monday or Tuesday. I honestly don't think I could have worked on this thesis for much more than I did before it broke me mentally which is why I deliberately started writing up last year on the weekends at home.
If you can start the theory stuff now I would strongly urge you to start writing that up now.
You will be thankful for it at writeup time.
posted
24-Jan-17, 08:59
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks for sharing. I will start writing up the theory very soon. I keep putting it off but am going to dedicate a day for writing so will be begin to tackle it then.
posted
24-Jan-17, 10:53
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for Zutterfly
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:
Thanks for sharing. I will start writing up the theory very soon. I keep putting it off but am going to dedicate a day for writing so will be begin to tackle it then.


This sounds like a good plan. Admittedly I recently became overwhelmed regarding when on earth I could fit the PhD whilst working 3 jobs. I have done exactly this- dedicated half days or my days off to my PhD- I wrote PHD!!!! on these days in my diary to make it official ;)
posted
25-Jan-17, 10:14
edited about 12 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 3 years ago
And is it working so far?

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