Many thanks to those of you who attended yesterday’s session on ‘Planning The PhD’. I enjoyed talking to so many of you about your research plans for the next three+ years! Whilst some project management tools might seem to be familiar or common sense, it is certainly useful to consider how to plan such a large project – especially when completing a PhD these days means managing more than just a research thesis.
It is said that if you fail to plan then you plan to fail! Therefore, when thinking about your goals for the next 3, 6, 12 months (and beyond) think about setting SMART objectives – those that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timed. How you do this is up to you! Often the process of actually starting to write something is the first obstacle – for good advice on this topic please see Rowena Murray’s article on the writing process in ‘The Postgraduate’s Companion’ (Sage Publications, 2008) which has some useful hints and tips on what to write and when.
Some of you said that you wanted more information on how to avoid procrastination. I didn’t really go into this much yesterday and it’s a topic that is covered comprehensively in the ‘Introduction to Time Management’ session which will take place in a few weeks’ time (to book a place on this course please click here: http://tiny.cc/2XGqr).
In the meantime, VITAE have some good tips on avoiding self-sabotage (including procrastination see here: http://tiny.cc/4xBDe) and there is an excellent podcast by business guru David Maister here: http://tiny.cc/cEmes – although he approaches procrastination from a professional perspective, much of what he has to say is useful for anyone who would like to improve their self-management.