as we say in Polish.
Also Sabine Lerch underlined importance of a good plan and preparation phase. She showed as how to divide our projects on the smallest possible tasks and then plan how much time and other assets we need to invest.
My old PhD writing plan:
To organise and plan my work, and to control time spent on different types of tasks (to help myself plan similar tasks in future) I use teamworkprojects application (probably there is a lot of similar applications, this one recommended me my Husband). I can make a list of main tasks of my PhD project, and smaller tasks and the smallest one (I use free 2-project version, where the first project is my PhD, and the second one – so called “side projects”. I plan deadlines and time which I estimate to spend on the task. And I can control my work progress every week checking reports 🙂
To be able to write this post, I needed to motivate myself to plan new version of my PhD project – Sabine would be proud of me 🙂 I divided my work on PhD into parts (chapters), and then a work on each chapter I divided into subtasks, and I set deadlines, and estimated time spend. If I work according this plan I should finish in the mid-July 2017…
Plan for the first chapter writing:
I produced tasks report using this functions:
ANow I can print it in this form:
And hang on my whiteboard 🙂 to know what I have to do next 😉
Sabine also stressed how important is life-work balance, and presented how should we plan every weekday to have time for work, social life, and time for ourselves. She based on this 4 spheres, which should be in balance:
• Spiritual – Meaning of life
• Mental – Work & Growth
• Social – Relationships
• Physical – Body & Health
She also asked us to draw our daily activity curve, to be aware in which hours we are the most productive, and our brain activity is the highest. Then we should plan our work based on it, and do the most demanding tasks in our “the best hours”.
My daily activity curve (from the workshop, something could change now):
And what I remember the best from the workshop is this graph – “ultradian rhythm”
More about so called “ultradian rhythm” and its discoverer Nathaniel Kleitman, and how to use it in pratice, you can read in the post “The 90-Minute Solution: Why Less is Truly More” by Tony Schwartz.
I had two different problems there – or I couldn’t concentrate long enough on one task, or I was so into my work that I could work 3-4 hours constantly without breaks. As Sabine taught me – it is good to stay focused on the task about 1.5 hours to have enough time to go into the task, and it is recomended to take 15-20 minutes break between this 1.5 hours slots to give your brain time to rest, and be able to concentrate again.
And based on our daily activity curve and “ultradian rhythm” concept, we should plan our day schedule. Yesterday I sat down with my Husband (when you live and work with someone it the same place 24/7 you need to discuss some things together) and we planned our new working days schedule (we don’t have strict schedule for weekends to have time to relax), and additionally we decided about housework division. It looks like that:
I have 6.5 working hours per day in 60-90 minutes slots. I’ve also decided to don’t switch on my messaging apps after waking up till the end of my work (about 17.15), and to check my emails only after lunch break – to don’t use this most productive time after brekfast for chatting or emails answering.
To be honest – we went sleep later yesterday, I woke up later today, so in the first day of the new schedule it hasn’t worked. I’ve fulfilled one of new commitments – I haven’t use messaging apps in work-time, and I am happy of that 🙂 We will keep trying next days, and hopefully it will be our new rhythm of a day soon 🙂
P.S. I even have special task in my teamwork – “blog writing” to control my time spent on writing 😉
http://www.science.sabinelerch.de/ – Sabine Lerch website
https://www.teamwork.com/ – teamwork website
https://www.teamwork.com/project-management-software – teamworkprojects app
https://theenergyproject.com/blog/90-minute-solution-why-less-truly-more – The 90-Minute Solution: Why Less is Truly More by Tony Schwartz