I’ve been told by a lot of people in the Graduate Student Professional Development community (and most recently the Dean, so now I am on it …) that time management is a huge issue for Professional Development (heretofore referred to as PD – so remember it).
Here is one of the best summaries of how I organize myself (with a few extra items), so check it out: http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/my-personal-productivity-rules/41766
My three actionable takeaways for you, oh overwhelmed graduate student:
- Plan your lists for tomorrow today. Give yourself 15 minutes to do this every night. It’s transformative. Then don’t plan tomorrow, DO tomorrow (that is, when tomorrow becomes today).
- Use a timer to stay focused. I find this especially helpful in controlling e-mail disruptions. Allow e-mail checks every hour and then begin to stretch that out to about every three hours. But allow work times to be punctuated by planned breaks, not just breaks that come out of shear frustration, which will leave you feeling defeated. See how an hour feels, but choose a timing cycle that works for you.
- Every day, recycle three paper items. Please, please, please try not to become a hoarder. If it is at all in you, graduate school will feed it. So, remember, three a day -- so that we don’t find you someday lying under a stack of papers and books.
Don’t know how the author of this article got into my head, but she now has carte blanche to remain there and to map my processes anytime. But be sure to read her fast and well written blog to find more. And send me one of your time management tips and I will add it to a future post. firstname.lastname@example.org
Do it. Do it. Do it. (Star Trek reference).
Post-script: Props to Mark Kamimura-Jimenez for sending me this link (mmm…perhaps he is trying to send me a message about my productivity…electronic note to self…)
About the Author
Paula D. Wishart, Professional Development, Rackham Graduate School
Published in: Professional Development