Tag: self development

Change by Exchange – DAAD’s motto is not only a motto

It is a reality.

I have had this post in my mind since I started the blog. The title was ready in the very first day of my blogging. I just needed more time to think how to build this story…

I am always proudly using my “sponsor” bag, as I call DAAD. But it is not only about money – it is more about opportunities which are opened thanks to this money. 

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Importance of a mental support 

I will not pretend that PhD studies/ project/ writing is a bed of roses… Be prepared for ups and downs. Sometimes you can face “systemic difficulties”… sometimes can come lack of motivation… Sometimes you can feel don’t good enough… Sometimes you can feel discouraged working with people who don’t share your values… Sometimes you can be overwhelmed with responsibilities and tired… Sometimes you can feel lonely with your struggles…

My advice – don’t stay alone! Take care about your mental support 🙂 

Who can support us in our 3-5 years PhD journey? 

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Ups I did it again! – About importance of the breaks

As I and my Husband say – “It is easier to give advices, than to apply your own advices” 

During a work on the joint paper I forgot about an important aspect of my new work system – breaks after every 90 minutes of the work. Or maybe it is better to say that I ignored it. Because I had my tree planted for 90 minutes and I was counting time in my teamwork, so I exactly knew when 90 minutes passed. 

And what? And nothing.

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Reflections after one week with the new work system 

Our daily schedule looks great in the paper, so how it went during the first week…

Successes

Room for improvement

  • 90 minutes of work
  • 15 minutes breaks
  • Housework division
  • Messaging apps “off time” until 17.00
  • Sleeping hours
  • Working hours
  • Internet “off time” one hour before sleep
  • Mail use
  • 15 minutes evening meditation
  • Evening exercises

I „planted a tree” for every 90 minutes of work, and then I had my 15 minutes break. I was focused on work during this 90 minutes, and 15 minutes I devoted for a real break. What does the “real break” mean? It means to stand up from my computer, and:

  • go to do kitchen and make raspberry or camomile tea. I love this raspberry tea from Herbapol, it is the only one which I know, which contains 60% of raspberry fruits inside, hibiscus flowers, and rosa canina. So it is real raspberry tea not only flavoured black tea 😛 I always take it with me for my scholarships 😀

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  • go to the leaving room to take a look on a world outside, and relax my eyes from short-distance looking, and to think about nothing, observe nature

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How to implement a new work system?  

It doesn’t work like that – “I will wake up tomorrow morning and I will change everything!”

It is more like long-term and cumulative process.

I’ve started my “process of change” when I was 17 from the book “Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom” by William Glasser M.D. (more about William Glasser and “Choice Theory”, see William Glasser Institute). I understood in that moment, that my life can be different. And this “process of change” has been about all life dimensions.

The “process of change” speeded up when I started my PhD studies. I faced new situations, new challenges, new people, new responsibilities, new requirements. During my first year I attended “Breathwork” workshops by Michał Godlewski (more about “Breathowk” see the book “Rebirthing and Breathwork” by C. Dowling, and more about “Mindfulness” concept see the article “Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition” by Scott R Bishop et al.) and this technique helps me to work with emotions and previous experiences and to release suppressed emotions, feelings, memories, and free myself from living in the past, and be more conscious and grounded in present life.

Year in Bremen (I will write separate post about that) changed more than I could imagine, and to be honest – it was like a sprint right after a marathon. A lot of “processes of change” which I had started before just speeded up dramatically during Bremen-time to bring me in some nice, stable, normal, calm space/ time/ place in my life.

Huge changes comes from small  everyday decisions and consciousness in our acting.

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Motivation – where to find it? 

As I was taught on some psychology or pedagogy course during one of my studies, the best one is so called “internal motivation”. But how to find it?

Ask oneself a question – “Why do I want to do this?” And then just remember the answer.

It is easier to say than to do 😛

When I was starting my PhD studies I wanted to do research useful for society. Then I faced reality and I realised that not all researchers do useful research, and even, that part of them don’t care about society at all, they care only to publish enough to receive a salary (maybe it is a problem of Polish science financing system, and parameterisation). Researchers who believe that their job is “for something” are in minority. Fortunately I was lucky to meet some of them 🙂

And it was like a general motivation to start a research/ academic career. When I think about it I have also this post “How To Feel Fulfilled: Tools From Aristotle (or Ari as I call him)” of  Karen Salmansohn in my mind.

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What have I done with distractions?

During last 3 years all types of distractions were my good “friends”. Most of them were internet portals with news, with celebrities gossip, and scrolling FB a few times per day. I couldn’t start working before I read all news, all new posts on liked fan-pages etc. But the worse type of distractions using was when I was under time pressure, but in the same time I was afraid of result of my work, I was not confident enough, I was avoiding finishing it. I realised it strongly while an essay writing (to pass one course at the Polish Uni). I was so afraid of Professor’s judgement that I was doing everything to not finish that essay. I had been spending a few hours on FB. In some moment I asked myself why I was reading something on internet instead of finishing the essay and had free evening later… I understood that I was going into distractions because of some fears… I wasn’t able to face my fears and it was easier to just did something else than took the challenge. It had been shortly before “Self and time management” workshop. From that moment and after the workshop I tried to change it:

  • I decided to do not use internet in the morning, before work afternoon at home right after a work to be present, when I am with my husband
  • I decided to don’t use internet one hour before sleeping time
  • I decided to have days without internet at all (Sundays or Saturdays)
  • I decided to put away my phone during work time and not even look at it

Sometimes it was better, sometimes it was worse. The most important that I was trying to change something, and didn’t stay in the same place.

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Sabine changed my life

During my 9-months research scholarship in Bremen (financed by DAAD) I attended a few workshops organised by ProUB centrum. One of it “Self and time management” leaded by Sabine Lerch changed my life totally.

I learned:

  • how to treat my PhD thesis as a project
  • how to organise my work
  • how to avoid distractions
  • how to recognise my natural work rhythm
  • how to keep life-work balance

We were discussing also our values, and what motivate us. We wrote on cards private (red cards) and professional (blue cards) values:

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