Time Management tips for new PhD students

Starting a PhD can be a daunting prospect. Get off to a good start by putting some simple processes in place to help you manage your time. Here are our top tips:

  1. Attend an IAD Time Management workshop (and make sure you actually make time to attend).  Look out for the workshop which is open to your college HSS or MVM&SCE
  2. Set yourself small/managable goals to work towards so you don’t get overwhelmed with the size of your task
  3. Get your bibliography organised…if you get your references organised at the beginning it will save you time when it comes to writing up. Endnote is free to use within the university
  4. Make lists or mindmaps to help you to organise your thoughts. Most university PCs have Inspiration installed on them and the handbook is available to download
  5. Get into a good routine
  6. Find out what type of worker you are (do you work best in the morning or evening?) and don’t worry if that’s different than your colleagues
  7. Find out how you procrastinate and have a strategy in place to manage that
  8. Have designated time set aside in the day for things like Facebook, personal emails etc…
  9. Plan for meetings with your supervisor – there will be a future post about this soon…watch this space
  10. If you are going to procrastinate, do something useful: read a blog related to your field, or look at the IAD webpage for new courses that you might be interested in attending

Next post: Working with your supervisor…coming soon!

Watch this space for details of our twitter account.

Fiona (Doctoral Training Manager, IAD)

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6 thoughts on “Time Management tips for new PhD students

  1. Fiona – Nice to see this blog!

    One addition to a point (3): Lots of docs now find Endnote a bit ‘old hat’. Try something more powerful – Mendeley [http://www.mendeley.com] seems to be weapon of choice…

    One tip: Read Habit 3 of Stephen R Covey’s ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’

    • Dave – thanks for the comment!

      The reason for supporting Endnote is that its the programme that the University IS Skills division offers training on, though I agree that Mendeley is nice.

      I’ll certainly check out Stephen Covey’s book. Thanks for the tip 🙂

  2. I read Habit 3 from Stephen Covey last night and I photocopied the blank one week example time planner they give, it really helps you figure out your priorities and allocate time accordingly.

  3. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    There’s no doubt that that you ought to write more on this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but generally people do not talk about such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!

  4. Pingback: Gaining teaching experience for an academic career | Research student careers blog

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