Presentation on theme: "Time Management for Researchers Session 1"— Presentation transcript:
1 Time Management for Researchers Session 1 Judith Shawcross
2 Course Aims By the end of this course you will be able to……. apply tools & techniques to manage YOUR time effectivelyrecognise common issues and problems and know how to overcome themknow how YOU can improve in this area
3 Course Structure Pre-work Session 1: Understanding time management, time perspectives, different types of activities and diagnostic toolsSession 2: Identifying your time management issues, prioritising activities and the rules of planning and organising.Session 3: Changing time management habits and applying effective time management practiceHomeworkHomeworkThe Challenge
4 Making the course work for you Be on time & attend every sessionParticipate in whole class and group discussionsUndertaking individual exercises both in class and between sessionsFind a time management buddy or buddiesHave funInvest time in making a time management system work for you
5 Time Management – The Facts! It’s not simpleThere are no “one size fits all” solutions - you have to find the recipe that works for you from a menu of tools and techniques.There are some key questions....by asking these questions it will help you find your answer?It’s a skill for life – ongoing review and maintenance essentialEffective time management will help you be successful
6 Today’s Agenda Introduction Introducing Each Other Exploring time managementBenefits of better time managementDifferent types of activityDealing withDiagnostic toolsPlease feel free to ask questions at any time.
7 Introductions First name Current role Department where you are based Length of experience as a researcherWhat is the most important benefit you want to get from this course?What do you think is your biggest time management issue?
8 Being successful doesn’t make you Time and SuccessBeing successful doesn’t make youmanage your time well.
9 Time Management What does it mean for you? Getting organised Protecting your timeSetting clear goals and plansPrioritisingBeating bad time habitsDoing two or more things at onceGoing with the flowGetting the research done before the funding runs outStill having weekends and evenings for fun!
10 Time – Can it be managed?Time stops for no-one – it is an unmanageable continuous resourceYou cannot borrow timeYou cannot hoard timeYou cannot work and earn more of itYou do get the choice of how you use time.What you achieve during a certain time is adirect measure of how wisely you invest it.You can only invest your time once!
11 Time Management - a definition The management of our own activities, to make sure that they are accomplished within the available or allocated timeManaging ourselvesGetting things done effectively
12 Effective Self Management undertaking tasks, activities and responsibilities that provide a high return for you and your departmentinvesting time doing the right thing, in an effective and efficient way at the right time and for the right length of time.
13 Effective Self Managers………. Concentrate on high return activitiesExercise self discipline - stay focussed on a task until completePlan their workGet startedStrive for results ……..not perfectionStay positive ……solve problemsConsistently strive to improve
14 To stay effective – ask the following… Am I doing the right activities?Am I doing them at the right time?Am I spending the right length time on them?Am I doing these activities in an effective and efficient way?If the answer is no to any of the above then askWhy?What is stopping me doing the above?
15 Who controls / influences what you do? Principal InvestigatorOther Academic or Research StaffPhD candidatesDepartmental / Group AdministratorCollegeFriendsPartner / FamilyPetsYouOther
16 Who/what influences what you do - by how much and how frequently? High(Daily)Medium(Weekly)Low(Monthly +)FrequencyInfluence
18 Your perspectives on time will also influence your behaviour.
19 A Series of Time Paradoxes Paradox 1 Time is one of the most powerful influences on our thoughts, feelings, and actions, yet we are usually totally unaware of the effect of time in our lives.Paradox 2 Each specific attitude toward time—or time perspective—is associated with numerous benefits, yet in excess each is associated with even greater costs.Paradox 3 Individual attitudes toward time are learned through personal experience, yet collectively attitudes toward time influence national destinies.
20 Time Perspectives - Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) Past NegativeRelive painful past experiences, wish they had done different thingsPast PositiveTake pleasure from the past, positive attitudes to the pastPresent-fatalisticWhat will be will be .. It doesn’t matter what I doPresent-hedonisticImpulsive, party animal, live life for todayFuture Time PerspectivePlanners, Set goals, To do lists& Transcendental Future Perspective (TTPI)Religious type beliefs, death not being the end etc...
23 Different types of activities Answering the phoneSolving an immediate problemResponding to e.g. surveyWriting up a research interview / lab resultsReading journal articles
24 Differentiating activities in terms of Importance vs. Urgency Eisenhower Principle:What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.Eisenhower Matrix orUrgent vs. Important MatrixIntroduced by Dr Stephen Covey
25 Urgent vs. Importance Matrix HighHigh ReturnActivitiesCriticalActivitiesUrgent and Important ("Critical Activities"): There are two distinct types of urgent and important activities: Ones that you could not foresee, and others that you have left to the last minute. You can avoid the latter by planning ahead and avoiding procrastination. Issues and crises, on the other hand, cannot always be foreseen or avoided. Here, the best approach is to leave some time in your schedule to handle these. Also, if a major crisis arises, some other activity may have to be rescheduled. If this happens, identify which of you urgent-important activities could have been foreseen and think about how you could schedule similar activities ahead of time, so they do not become urgent. Urgent and Not Important ("Interruptions"): Urgent but not important activities can be a constant source of interruption. They stop you achieving your goals and completing your work. Ask yourself whether these tasks can be rescheduled, or whether someone else could do them. A common source of such interruptions is from other people coming into your office. Sometimes it's appropriate to say "No" to people, or encourage them to solve the problem themselves. Alternatively, try allocating time when you are available, so that people only interrupt you at certain times (a good way of doing this is to schedule a regular meeting so that all issues can be dealt with at the same time). By doing this, the flow of work on your important activities will be less disrupted. Not Urgent, but Important ("Important Goals"): These are the activities that you can plan ahead for to achieve your goals and complete your work. Make sure that you have plenty of time to achieve these, so that they do not become urgent. And remember to leave enough time in your schedule to deal with unforeseen problems. This will maximize your chances of keeping on schedule, and help you avoid the stress of work becoming more urgent that necessary. Not Urgent and Not Important ("Distractions"): These activities are just a distraction, and should be avoided if possible. Some can simply be ignored. Others are activities that other people want you to do, but they do not contribute to your own desired outcomes. Again, say "No" politely and firmly where this is appropriate. If people see you are clear about your objectives and boundaries, they will often not ask you to do "not important" activities in future.ImportanceDistractionsInterruptionsLowLowUrgencyHigh
26 Important Activities High Return Activities Those activities that will enable you to achieve your goalsSchedule uninterrupted time to achieve themAs important as meetings with your PICritical ActivitiesThose you have left to the last minuteThose that you could not foresee
27 Non important activities These stop you achieving your goals and completing your workInterruptionsHideAsk people to make an appointmentDistractionsAvoid if you canTurn them offSet aside time to do these when you’ve finished your important task.
28 Urgent vs. Importance Matrix High ReturnActivitiesCriticalDistractionsInterruptionsUrgencyLowHighImportance
29 Dealing with Email – Best Practice Turn off visual and audio notificationsUse your out of office notificationDon’t let it manage you
30 Keeping the Inbox in check Check your regularlyThis should not be constantly – you need uninterrupted time to do work!Frequency and timing has to be appropriate for you and your work – 2 or 3 times a day should be adequateAllocate time to deal withChose times when you have completed a high return activity or when your energy levels are low.Researchers can improve their productivity by 20% bynot looking at their first thing in the morning.Vitae – The Balanced Researcher
31 Dealing withScan the headers - if it is not important/relevant - deleteReview the rest - eitherDon’t respond – then file or delete e.g. Information s - transfer to a ‘to read’ folder - and allocate time to read them!Forward to someone else to respondRespond – then file or deleteSend a holding response – schedule a full responseFlag or move to an ‘action’ folder - if you don’t have time to deal with it immediately3. Apply the “two minute rule” (David Allen)if the will take less than two minutes to process (a quick read, and a short answer) then take care of it right now, even if it's not a high priority
32 Email Organisation – Some Options Have a simple set of folders and move any s you need to keep to themE.g. Action, Read, Reference, Waiting, ArchiveEg. Project 1, Project 2, Project 3 etc.File all s that you need to keep in a “month” folder and use a search toolSet up rules to help you sort incoming mail into folders – great for those non-urgent messages
33 Reducing Email Encourage people to send you LessShort s – don’t get into debates – use the phone or go and see themPromote effective practice in your section / departmentUnsubscribe from unwanted sBe careful who you give permission to send you s
34 Writing Effective Email 1 Use the title as the headline messagePlease confirm your availability – Project X Meeting 1100 to 1200, 6th December, Room 1For Information: Weekly project reportAlways make sure headline is appropriateKeep it short – try for two sentences per reply - one or two paragraphs maxOne item per – particularly for unrelated issues or ones which require different types of reply
35 Writing Effective Email 2 Multiple items – use only if closely related -make sure each point is easy to identifyAlways be polite / use appropriate languageBe very clear what action is required – if anyMake sure all the details are given e.g. Meetings: date, start time, finish time, locationMake sure all s have your contact details
36 Q1. Are you doing the right activities? Would you tell me, please,which way I ought to go fromhere?That depends a good deal onwhere you want to get to.What activities are the most important for you?What activities do I need to do for my research?What are your goals? Long-term, this year, this month, this week, today!Are they written down?Are they SMART?
37 SMART Goals S = Specific What is to be achieved? M = Measurable How will I know when I’ve got there?A = Achievable Is this possible?R = Realistic Have I got the resources to achieve this?T = Timed When am I going to achieve this by?
38 A1. Define your goals and write them down Clearly define what you want to achieveSet your self goals – long term, yearly, monthly, weekly, dailyShare your Research plan with your PIMonitor your progress against the planReview and update plan regularly“PLANS ARE USELESS BUT PLANNING IS ESSENTIAL”US President Dwight Eisenhower
39 Tools & Techniques to be applied! What are the goals for my research project, long term, medium term, short term?What are my high return activities?How am I spending my time?
40 GOALS SMART Long Term Short Term GOALS High Return Activities To have my research published in Nature by July 2012To co-author a book on carbon nano-tubes by April 2013HighReturnActivitiesMilestones1.2.3.
41 How am I spending my time? Take a week (at least 3 days) and actually record how you spend your time in 15 minute chunks using the Activity Log provided or Toggl.com - Time Tracking Software SystemActivities could include: Reading Journal Articles, Responding to , Answering Telephone Calls, Planning and organising, Tea/Coffee Break, Writing Papers / Reports, Chatting with colleagues, Lunch, Facebook / Twitter, Build Test Rig, Conducting Interviews, Attending Seminars, Training & Development ,Conducting Experiment , ExerciseAnalyse this carefully- what activities should you eliminate, reduce?- what activities do you need to do more of?
42 ? Effective Self Management Urgent vs. Importance Matrix undertaking tasks, activities and responsibilities that provide a high return for you and your departmentinvesting time doing the right thing, in an effective and efficient way at the right time and for the right length of time.Urgent vs. Importance MatrixHigh ReturnActivitiesCriticalDistractionsInterruptionsUrgencyLowHighImportanceDefine your goalsandwrite them down?Who is the CEO of your time?
43 Managing your time is about working smarter not working harder. What is the best use of my time right now?Don’t look at your first thing in the morningThank you for listening
44 Resources VITAE www.vitae.ac.uk Previously UK GRAD Programme and UK Higher Education Researcher Development UKHERDBooklet: The Balanced ResearcherThe Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen CoveyThe Time Paradox, Using the new Psychology of Time to your advantage (Paperback) by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, Rider Books, 2008Why People Fail – The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them by Simon Reynolds, Jossey Bass 2012
45 ResourcesMike Clayton, 2011, Brilliant Time Management, What most productive people know, do and say, PearsonBrian Tracy, 2004, Eat that Frog! Get more of the important things done, Today!, MobiusJurgen Wolfe, 2010, Focus: Use the Power of Targetted Thinking to Get More Done, Prentice Hall BusinessGive Me Time, 2006, The Mind Gym, CIPDDavid Allen, 2001, Getting Things Done – How to achieve Stress-free Productivity, PiatkusMichael Heppell, 2011, How to Save an hour every day, Prentice Hall Life