It happens to every grad student in the sciences at some point: your project stops working and things don’t seem to come together. In some cases, projects don’t get enough momentum and early success to even seem like they have started. Projects that stop working can be some of the most disheartening events in graduate school (especially if you take your work very personally or tend to be a perfectionist) which makes knowing how to get back on track one of the most important skills that you can cultivate.
So what do you do when you find yourself tasked with a project that has stalled out?
Continue reading Restarting a Stalled Project
No one finishes a STEM dissertation by doing just 100% research all day every day; you have many other tasks including classes, writing manuscripts, attending journal clubs, teaching obligations, seminars, lab meetings, public presentations of your work, and the need for sleep and a healthy body. All of these activities need to be planned for and the time necessary to complete them taken into account. Once you do that, research effort is really about 50% of what you are doing (although this can vary quite a bit depending on your particular project and field). These are a lot of tasks and obligations to keep track of and can easily derail your research progress, which will be the determining factor of when you actually get to graduate. Continue reading Using Project Management Approaches to Tame Your Dissertation
We are now in the midst of the 2014 Holiday season and 2015 is only a month away, which means that many of us are busy with holiday errands, travel, and family events. While this is considered a hectic time of year for obvious reasons, December is a great time to find moments to both recharge and take action to put yourself ahead for 2015. These don’t have to be giant tasks that take up a ton of your time (there are holiday parties to attend, after all) but a few strategic actions right now can go a long way in setting up your future self to make some serious progress next year.
My three Bullish tips for recharging and getting ahead during the holidays (all of which can be done in pajamas if necessary): Continue reading Using the Holidays to Recharge and Get Ahead