Easy the Load – Feel good about your Busy Life Workshop

Ease the Load – Feel Good about your Busy Life – 19th October 2016

Staying on top and in control of our work in this fast-paced world is becoming increasingly difficult. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and have a knock on effect to our personal life. This session has been developed to help effectively manage a hectic and complex workload and support us as we focus on the important, plan our work effectively and attack it with confidence.

This new, full day course looks at time management from a fresh perspective to support researchers at all levels, through the development of an approach which puts you back in control of your time.imagesCALDO9DF

Course Purpose:

This course aims to support researchers at all levels, providing an approach which puts you in control and reduces overall stress. Applying this helps you to enjoy, and not just cope with, your busy schedule, leaving you on top of your work, not buried by it. Productivity without the stress.

Objectives:

  • Skilfully manage a busy schedule
  • Feel on top of work and home life
  • Get the inbox back to empty
  • Effectively plan and progress projects
  • Clarify roles, prioritise goals and learn to say “No”
  • Efficiently organise paperwork, emails and other inputs

More information and booking here

Compass Programme for International Research Students

The international COMPASS programme is a series of workshops and events for international research postgraduates studying in Scotland.

compassThe programme aims to provide:

  • The opportunity to socialise, network and learn about Scotland
  • Transferable skills training
  • Professional and career information and advice

We have several workshops and an event taking place this semester.

COMPASS Induction Event – Thursday 6th October 2016

COMPASS Academic Communication Skills – Wednesday 12th October 2016

COMPASS Visit to the Scottish Parliament – Thursday 17th November 2016

For more detailed information on the workshops please click here

Ease the Load – Feel Good about your Busy Life Workshop

Ease the Load – Feel Good about your Busy Life – 27th October 2015

Staying on top and in control of our work in this fast-paced world is becoming increasingly difficult. This can leave us feeling overwhelmed and have a knock on effect to our personal life. This session has been developed to help effectively manage a hectic and complex workload and support us as we focus on the important, plan our work effectively and attack it with confidence.

This new, full day course looks at time management from a fresh perspective to support researchers at all levels, through the development of an approach which puts you back in control of your time.imagesCALDO9DF

Course Purpose:

This course aims to support researchers at all levels, providing an approach which puts you in control and reduces overall stress. Applying this helps you to enjoy, and not just cope with, your busy schedule, leaving you on top of your work, not buried by it. Productivity without the stress.

Objectives:

  • Skilfully manage a busy schedule
  • Feel on top of work and home life
  • Get the inbox back to empty
  • Effectively plan and progress projects
  • Clarify roles, prioritise goals and learn to say “No”
  • Efficiently organise paperwork, emails and other inputs

More information and booking here

Simply Assertive Workshop 27/11/14

“Assertiveness is not what you do, it’s who you are.”  Shakti Gawain

The aim of this course is to enable delegates to have a greater self confidence in difficult situations and feel able to express their opinion by:imagesCAZUFJX1

  • Understanding differences between assertive, passive and aggressive behaviours
  • Feel confident to ask for what they want and express their opinion
  • Expressing their opinion clearly and with confidence

Those who are truly assertive believe not only in the validity of their own views and requests but also of the views and requests of others. Therefore this half-day session will focus on an exploration what an assertive attitude is and how it will influence behaviour. This will be achieved through a blend of case study and situation-based discussion to share knowledge and skills, tutor input, paired work and practise of assertive behaviours.

For more information, or to book a place please visit: http://edin.ac/1dwV5g1

Maximising your influence at meetings and conferences

Do you attend conferences and meetings and need help to maximise your influence, develop your contacts and network effectively?? We run two workshops which can help you develop these skills:

Developing your Personal Presence and Contacts (10/11/2014)

This 2-hour participative session will help develop your self-awareness and enhance your skills in developing professional contacts. The session will include:-

  • Presenting yourself positivelyimagesCAVNHXRR
  • Understanding the impact of your non-verbal behaviour
  • Realising that first impressions DO matter
  • Adapting to different situations

For more information see: http://edin.ac/1DrOP5U

Maximising your Influence at Meetings (10/12/2014)

This is a highly participative 2-hour session to explore how you can become more effective and influential at meetings, thus developing a key everyday work skill.

The session includes:-

  • Defining effective meetings
  • Active listening
  • Encouraging good participation
  • Identifying and practising the important verbal behaviours of meetings
  • Dealing with difficult behaviour

For more information see: http://edin.ac/1DrPhRG

The PhD Cycle

So, if the PhD is a process made up of initiating and ‘hopefully’ completing smaller tasks then it is reasonable to expect that this process will have an emotional impact depending on which stage you are at and the outcome of your current task. And this is perfectly normal.

PhD Cycles

The diagram tries to show that everything in the PhD cycle involves thinking and writing about your PhD and within that overall cycle there is a smaller process of initiating, scoping, focus forming, implementing, completing and reviewing tasks. At each of these stages there may be a vast variety of emotions involved.

There are some things which you can do to try to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the positive.

  • Use SMART goals to help you to manage your work load. These are goals which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Based. If you put goals in place which follow this formula then you are more likely to succeed and feel less afraid of the marathon task ahead of you.
  • Remember to review outcomes of different tasks. It is all too easy to rush from task to tasks without taking the time to review. The value of this is in seeing what you can learn for next time and celebrating success.
  • Read my previous post about time management

Academic blogging and your research

Do you blog about your research? It seems to me that blogging as either a reflective or discursive tool can be very helpful. I know several academics who blog about their work and there seem to be a variety of benefits:

  • It provides a space for you to get your ideas together
  • It allows for a playful space for you to experiment
  • You can get comments from peers
  • It can help you to fine tune your writing skills
  • It can help you to get exposure for your work.

If you do blog about your research, and you aren’t already doing so, you might want to link up your blog with a twitter feed to connect your social media presence.

Let us know how you use your blog on twitter at https://twitter.com/iad4phd

 

Fiona (Doctoral Training Manager, IAD)

Social Media and Your Research

As the University of Edinburgh IT Futures Group Annual Conference approaches (title of the conference is ‘Social media in academia: A tweet too far?’ Tuesday 13th Dec) the title got me thinking about social media and your research. So is Social Media really that useful in academia? Here are a few suggestions of things that you can do with it:

  1. Social bookmarking – with the rise of research pooling and distance learning the use of social bookmarking can be a useful way of sharing web links and resources. Services such as Delicious and Diigo allow you to share your bookmarked pages.
  2. Microblog – maximise your impact and resources with twitter. No only is twitter useful for getting your own research profile out there but you can also follow other useful twitter accounts, e.g. research councils, the Vitae Hub @vitaesnihib and of course @iad4phd
  3. Blog about your subject. Blogs can be really helpful in organising and sharing your ideas, communicating your research to non-specialists and using comments from others to generate new content.
  4. Networking – Get your research profile online using Linked in or academia.edu
  5. Presentations – Share presentations online using prezi, slideshare or dropbox

Whichever of these you use and whatever you use it for, remember to keep your online personal brand consistent and genuine.

Fiona (Doctoral Training Manager, IAD)

Procrastination and getting yourself un-stuck

The feeling of not wanting to do what you’re supposed to be doing can be an overwhelming thing and I can’t help but be struck by the irony of writing this post to help myself move past my current bout of procrastination.

But do not fear, there are always things that you can do. One that I recently discovered was the pomodoro technique. What you do is set a timer for 25 minutes and do focused work while the timer counts down. At the end of the 25 minutes you take a 5 minute break. Then after 4 segments take a 15 minute break. I used it while studying at the weekend and powered throug 2 hours with no problem at all.

Something else I have come across recently but I’m a teeny bit afraid to try is Write or Die which gives you consequences when you stop writing. This one I think would be particularly useful for bashing out ideas in a first draft. You download an app, set a word or time goal and the start typing. If you stop typing for a certain length of time the app will enforce the consequence, for example, start to delete your work  line by line…eeek!

When I was an undergraduate I attended a procrastination workshop and the most important message that I took away from that is that if you can identify what it is about a task that causes you to procrastinate then the easier it is to move past. For me its reading. I would much rather be doing pretty much anything but reading so over the past few years I have developed some small techniques to help me to get through that stage and onto the bits that I like. So I take notes while I’m reading – that tricks me into thinking that I’m writing rather than reading. And I read in small chunks of time so that I know it will be over soon.

And as this post demonstrates, you can always overcome procrastination by doing something related to your work that you enjoy and which will give you another way of thinking about things, be that writing a blog post, looking for relevant material on twitter, reading something in your field or whatever.