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It’s the 3rd week of September, another semester is now underway. How is your semester going thus far? Any surprises (good or bad)? What are your major goals for the semester?

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5 Responses

  1. So far, with every semester, a new set of challenges. This is my first semester where I’m not taking or teaching any classes.

    Whatta you know… the more things change, the more they stay the same. Time management is still my biggest problem! This semester my big challenge is figuring out how to structure my own time.

    So, my major goal for the semester (outside of the minor issue of nailing down my dissertation topic ;)) is to figure out my optimal sustainable daily / weekly self-driven work schedule.

    I don’t know if anyone else is dealing with similar issues, but I do fine in that rush just before my deadlines (usually, a meeting with my advisor); it’s the rest of the week or two where I just don’t feel like I’m able to be as productive.

  2. I think that all this talk about PhD being an exploratory journey to figure out one’s research stimuli is bs. PhD is all about trying to find new and creative ways to look for distractions that can somehow get you away from working on your thesis. And this blog contributes wonderfully towards that: just when I promised myself that I would start working, I am typing away here. Internet is great! πŸ˜€

  3. Oh, yes, the wonderful concept of “creative avoidance.” There’s nothing like having a big paper due, comps prep, or a dissertation to write to motivate all sorts of alternative activities. I remember someone telling me their house was never cleaner then when they were writing a dissertation–that’s when housework was suddenly really compelling!

  4. Clearly you are an early riser, Steven! (5.38 and 6.01am on your posts πŸ˜‰

    My goal for the semester is to have my proposal defended (finally!), which is largely about cutting the fellow down to size (something I swore I’d be careful about).

    My biggest source of productivity is to ensure that I’ve done at least 2 hours on dissertation related stuff before checking email/blogs/online course and all the other frazzing things that we do at these computers!

  5. Two hours of penance before fun? That sounds like a great strategy for productivity. Does it work?

    I do try to use my “immersion in the phenomenon time” (a.k.a. Internet puttering ;-)) as a reward for getting the much harder work of reading and writing done. Some days are more successful than others.

    And, yes, lately I’ve been on an early-to-bed and early-to-rise schedule. On those days, by 6am I’ve already been awake long enough to structure coherent thoughts into writing.

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