I’ve hit a couple of really great posts this morning that I wanted to share and comment on:
Cal Newport did a guest post over at Academic Productivity that talks about how to arrange your time so that you both get everything done and find time to “think the big thoughts”. His suggestion was
Monday: Administrivia – paperwork, running around, etc
Tuesday: Normal work – all the grunt work you do on papers with your adviser, etc
Wednesday: Normal work
Thursday: Normal work
Friday: Big thoughts – literature searches, brainstorming, etc
I love this idea, and will be modifying it over the next few weeks to fit my lifestyle and work patterns. Specifically I work half time in my old field (4 days per week, 5 hours a day) so I suspect that I will be pushing some of this onto weekends. The key aspect, however, is the compartmentalization. I can see quite clearly how it is MUCH easier to get the day to day work done when you aren’t trying to shoehorn in the administrative tasks or getting sidetracked onto big thoughts.
What will be key to making it work is ensuring that I have a system handy so that, as I am working through the normal stuff, I can capture big thoughts or administrivia that float into my mind for looking at during the correct time frame.
Over at 43 Folders there is an interesting discussion going on about presenting quantitative information in an academic presentation setting. Most important there are the resources being suggested, including:
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
The Chicago Guide to Writing about Numbers (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
The Chicago Guide to Writing about Multivariate Analysis (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
The Craft of Research, 2nd edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)
(notice how many of these are Chicago Guides?)
As that thread matures, I’m sure there will be even more good suggestions.