Once someone gets into grad school, one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome can be figuring out how to manage the classes. Their pace is faster, there's more content, and the expectations are higher than in undergrad. Successfully figuring out how to manage the classes can make the transition into grad school much easier, and it also helps increase the likelihood a student will get through their program on time.Read More
Filtering by Category: Productivity
As the year comes to a close, it's a great time to look back and do an inventory of different aspects of our lives. That can range from remembering our accomplishments to evaluating our routines. It's common for people to have big ambitions of making a lot of big life changes in the new year. But doing so can be problematic, which I'll talk about in a future post. Instead, consider identifying some day-to-day aspects of your life that can be improved with small changes. For example, reviewing the apps that you use to see if there are better options out there. Here, I'll briefly review my top Android apps and why I recommend considering them.Read More
When it comes to research work, having the right tools can make a big difference in efficiency, communication, and just general quality of life for the researcher. For my dissertation I have been working on a large meta-analysis, which has many different parts. Over the past several months I have tried various applications and ways of collaborating, and have learned a lot in the process. Now that I've reached a point where things are working smoothly, I wanted to share the tools I have found most helpful (for meta-analyses and research more broadly). While doing so, I also want to highlight the workflow that I've found to work well for my meta-analysis.Read More
There are a lot of benefits to keeping a journal: improving writing, allowing experimenting with writing, promoting self reflection, helping to think through difficult thoughts, surfacing worries that may have gone unnoticed, and so on. In a previous post, I went into detail about how keeping a journal can also increase productivity. But finding a good journal to use can be difficult. It's something private, something personal, and something that you want to enjoy using. For those like me who want to use an electronic journal, the options can seem fairly limited. After searching for some time, I came across penzu and have been using it for a while. In this post, I'll give my impressions of penzu as a service for keeping a journal.Read More
As I've said in previous posts, keeping a to-do list is essential for getting through a doctoral program, and it's a good idea for organizing your life in general. Many people attempt to keep to-do lists, but they do so ineffectively and come away thinking they are unhelpful as a result. But with some commitment and proper use, to-do lists can make you both more productive and more mentally relaxed. Here, I want to quickly highlight important components of using a to-do list effectively.Read More
One of the biggest setbacks with productivity is the tendency to get distracted. Our minds wander. We think about everything else that needs to be done. We think about what we're working on, but can't focus on one part of it and get lost. It's very common, and it can lead to a lot of time thinking and very little time doing. To help clear out our minds, it can help to get the ideas out and to make them physical in some way. Tasks that need to be done can be put into a todo list (which I will cover in another post). All of those other thoughts? Well, most of them can go into a journal. Here, I want to discuss just how using a journal can help to increase your productivity.Read More
When trying to be more productive, it can be tempting to do many things at once. You may have a great system in place so you know when things are due and how they should be prioritized. So then why is it so difficult to make progress through your list of tasks for the day? One of the main things that you may be missing is the benefit of grouping your tasks. By doing so, you can make your work much easier, transition between tasks more smoothly, and get a lot more done. Here, I will explain why and how.Read More
Having a long holiday weekend is a perfect chance to complete some personal projects that you've been meaning to get around to. This holiday weekend, make your project to increase your productivity and to reduce your stress! This can be done by decluttering some of the aspects in your life, and I'm going to detail how easy it can be by using the right tools.Read More
Throughout the day, many of us read a lot of articles (or at least would like to) while browsing the Web. This can result in dozens of open tabs, articles lost after closing the browser, and a lot of headaches when trying to find that one article you have open in that one tab somewhere. Thankfully, there's an easier way to handle this situation.
Pocket, formerly ReadItLater, was designed for the purpose of saving articles so they can be viewed at a later time. The main purpose was to allow people to save articles rather than keep them open, putting them all in one place. It's still great for that use, but Pocket can also be a great productivity tool when used appropriately.Read More
Routines are something that many sites discuss as a way to help you be more productive. "Professionals" have habits like preparing for work the next day every night, deciding what to wear in advance, etc. in a whole list that probably makes most people cringe. Part of that is the thought of how troubling routines can be--and they can be!--but also a result of not understanding how useful they potentially are. Here, I want to break down routines: the good, the bad, and the reasonable!Read More
One of the simplest and most useful tools I have learned about, yet find very few people using, is tab stops in word processors. Resumes/CVs, presentations, putting together forms for people to fill out, or just about any other type of document you may create can benefit from tab stops.
The purpose of tab stops is to do the very thing that arguably frustrates people the most when they are trying to format a document: making things line up properly.Read More
Something I learned quickly after entering into a doctoral program is that there are important tools and skills to have for professional success, and programs don't do a great job of telling students about these tools and skills. Instead, the expectation seems to be that students will learn about them on their own or, perhaps more likely, they are so essential to the everyday work of professionals that it's hard to remember the fact that students need to be told about them.
The first of these that I want to cover, because it is beneficial to start using one as soon in your professional career as possible (even in undergraduate), is reference managers.Read More