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Prof. Yashar Ganjali University of Toronto Research Skills Seminar, November 2012

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Presentation on theme: "Prof. Yashar Ganjali University of Toronto Research Skills Seminar, November 2012"— Presentation transcript:

1 Prof. Yashar Ganjali University of Toronto Research Skills Seminar, November 2012

2 Effectiveness and Time Management Why time management matters in grad school Many directions for research Many distractions High flexibility in managing your time Problems with time I have time but dont use it right Procrastination, confusion, lack/loss of motivation I have too much work and feel like drowning Too many deadlines, lack of focus, stress and anxiety Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar2Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

3 Ideas from … The Now HabitThe Now Habit Neil FioreNeil Fiore The 7 Habits of Highly Effective PeopleThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Stephen R. CoveyStephen R. Covey Getting Thing DoneGetting Thing Done David AllenDavid Allen Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar3Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

4 Why We Procrastinate Perfectionism Fear of … Failure Success Conflict, and judgment Rewarding Painful work Work completed by someone else Work becomes unnecessary Difficult decisions will be made for you Indirect way of resisting pressure from authorities Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar4Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

5 Procrastination Cycle Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar5Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School PerfectionismFear of failureProcrastinationSelf-criticism Anxiety and depression Loss of confidence Greater fear of failure More procrastination …

6 Walk a Board Metaphor Situation A 30cm wide, 20m long, on the ground OK to walk even run Situation B Same as A, 100m high Now its scary! Situation C Same as B, building on fire Now its for real Fear of failure goes away Fear of imperfection goes away Focus on solution not worry Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar6Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

7 Procrastinators Pattern Raise the board Perfectionism Get frozen Fear of failure, … Set building on fire Increase urgency/threat bigger than fear of failure Move! Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar7Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

8 Breaking the Pattern Situation D Same as B, no fire, support net Can be OK with a bit of practice Support net Its OK to be imperfect Its OK to fail You can always recover Sense of worth Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar8Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

9 Quadrant II Time Management III IIIIV Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar9Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School Important Not Important Urgent Not Urgent

10 Examples Assignments, exams Deadlines Paper submissions Course projects... TAship … Planning Reading papers Writing up your results Attending talks, seminars, … Physical exercise Leisure … Interruptions Phone ringing IMs, SMS Some s Some TV shows Updating Facebook status! … Games Web surfing Browsing OSNs Most TV shows Some s … Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar10Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School Important Not Important Urgent Not Urgent I II III IV

11 Results Stress Sleep problems Health problems Burnout Out of control Vision Perspective Balance Control Out of control Short-term focus Feeling victimized Dependence Irresponsibility Loss of focus Lack of motivation Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar11Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School Important Not Important Urgent Not Urgent I II III IV

12 Top-down vs. Bottom-up Approaches Quadrant II time management Top-down Identify priorities Set goals, plan according to what matters GTD Bottom-up Cope with high load by creating a workflow Remove the need to remember, relieve stress Planning and priorities happen during reviews Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar12Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

13 Getting Things Done – Surviving High Work Load Task or action item Something that can be done in one step Project A collection of action items with a specific goal Next action item An action of a project that you can immediately start working on Contexts What you need to work on a @Phone, … Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar13Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

14 GTD Workflow Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar14Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

15 Time Management Tools ASANA Web-based Supports groups and teams ClearContext Microsoft outlook plugin Nice integration of calendars, to-do lists, notes, projects, … GTDInbox Firefox addon, manage everything in Gmail Not as many features as some other applications OmniFocus Mac application accompanied by nice iPad and iPhone apps Great flexibility, steep learning curve Things Mac application with iPad and iPhone apps Very simple, beautiful interface Free alternative: iGTD Remember the Milk Web-based Interact using Twitter, iPhone, Google Calendar, … And many more …. Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar15Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

16 The Trap Your goal is to get things done but you may … spend a lot of time finding the right tool spend a lot of time learning and getting used to the new tool spend a lot of time moving your existing tasks, projects, … to the new tool But when it comes to actually doing, you might go back to old habits. Remember, these are just tools meant to help with getting things done. Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar16Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School

17 Thank you! How do you manage your time? Yashar Ganjali - Research Skills Seminar17Time Managment and Effectiveness in Grad School


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