Presentation on theme: "Time management: balancing your life and your PhD"— Presentation transcript:
1 Time management: balancing your life and your PhD Nikki Penhaligon, PhDPostgraduate Career CounsellorQUT Careers and Employment
2 Today Basic principles of time management Value of goal setting Procrastination and youImportance of maintaining work-life balanceMy own journey....
3 Your PhD and You Your PhD is a self directed project You are in charge - things will only be done if YOU do themWorkbook activity: My current time management techniquesOn a 7 point scale, how effective are you with managing your timeNot at all effective Somewhat Very effectiveeffectiveWhat do you do to manage your time during your candidature? Write it on the post it providedAre there areas you have difficulty with?How are you at staying on task?
4 Time management tips Tip 1: Audit yourself Tip 2: Audit your time Tip 3: Have a vision and set goalsTip 4: Don’t forget the bigger pictureTip 5: PrioritiseTip 6: Avoid procrastinationTip 7: Reward yourselfTip 8: A little bit of balanceTip 9: Use resourcesTip 10: Access support
5 Tip 1: Audit yourselfEveryone is different. The first step to effectively managing our time is gaining a good understanding of our needs!Workbook activity: Self audit
6 Tip 2: Audit your timeThere are only a certain number of hours in the day. Where do you spend your time?Activity: Timetable your time. Use the colour codes belowOn PhD = GreenTutoring/RA/work = YellowSleeping = BlueEating = RedExercising = PinkWith friends/family = PurpleHousework = OrangeLeisure = BlackTip: BE HONEST!!Add up how many hours per week you are spending on each activity
7 Where are the gaps?Now that you have a good understanding of yourself and what you need, cross reference this with where you spend your time.Ask yourself the following:Are there any discrepancies?Am I dedicating enough time to my study?Am I trying to study at a time that it not my preference?Am I getting enough sleep/exercise?Am I spending too little/too much time in one area and neglecting another?Do you need to make any modifications to your timetable?
8 Tip 3: Develop a career vision It may be a bit unclear......but having some direction will keep you moving ahead.........and.....
9 Tip 3: Set goals S = SPECIFIC Who is involved? What do you want to accomplish?Where? - Identify a location.When? – Establish a time frame.Why? – Specific reason, purpose, or benefits of achieving a goal.M = MEASUREABLEHelps you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience achievement.A = ATTAINABLEBreak it down into steps - each step should move you closer to that goal.R = REALISTICPersonal and situational factors which may influence your ability to reach your goal.T = TIMEBOUNDDefine start points and end points to your goal and maintain commitment to these deadlines.
10 Writing an effective goal statement Use clear, specific language.Start your goal statement with TO + a VERBWrite your goal statement using SMART Goal CriteriaAvoid using negative language. Think positive!Activity: Let’s now give it a go!
11 Tip 4: Don’t forget the Big Picture! PhD journey has it’s ups and downsVision and goals can give us perspective when things gets difficult!
12 Tip 5: PrioritisingSometimes there is so much to do and so little time!Prioritising tasks can help us to order our tasks and determine what is important and what needs to be done urgently!‘Importance’ = achievement of goals‘Urgent’ = demand attention as consequences of not completing can be immediateSource: mindtools.com
13 Tip 6: Avoid procrastination Prioritising = ordering tasks according to importance and urgencyProcrastination = putting things off for no good reason ie making excuses!
14 Cycle of procrastination Approach taskNegative thought process activatedProcrastination activitiesConsequences (positive or negative)Continue to procrastinateBREAK THE CYCLE OF PROCRASTINATION
15 Why am I doing it? Reason I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do! I’m not smart enoughWrong time of dayI’m tiredI’m going to fail!StrategyASK for help!Where’s the evidence?!Change the taskGet up. Go for a walk. Clear your head... Get some chocolate/caffeine...What is failure? Is it bad?? Is it an opportunity to improve???
16 How do I know when I’m procrastinating? Self reflection activity: Think back to a time you know you have put off doing something that needs to be doneWhat was the task you were doing?What were you doing instead of the task?What did you want to do instead of the task?What time of day did it to happen?Where were you?What did you do to overcome it?Post it activity: On the post it provided write down the strategy you employed to overcome your procrastination. Put it on the whiteboard to share.
18 Tip 7: Reward yourselfIt’s simple, if you achieve your task, reward yourself. Tip: Make sure the reward matches the effort! Activity: On the post-it provided, write down one way to reward yourself. Stick it on the whiteboard.
19 Tip 8: A little bit of balance Remember to balance your timeIt’s not all about work!Schedule in time for family, friends, travel, leisure activities, exercise and yourself!Everything is ok in moderation
21 Tip 9: Use resources available Create ‘To Do’ listsUse your outlook calendar – schedule timeKeep people (eg your supervisor) informedMultitasking versus one task at a timeHave a filing system (online and/or paper)Use EndNote!
22 Tip 10: Don’t forget your supports! Research Student CentreFRAO’sLiaison LibrariansStudent Support ServicesCareers and EmploymentCounsellingInternational Student ServicesLanguage and Learning SupportOther PhD students!
23 Tips from someone who has gone before you... During my PhD I:Set goalsSemester goals and yearly goalsGave them to my supervisor (!) – then I was accountable to someone!Put them within eyesight of my computerPlanned and prioritised my work around my goalsUpdated my goals as required – and informed my supervisor!Treated my PhD like a full time job – I went to work Monday-Friday – but in the hours that worked for me!
24 Tips from someone who has gone before you... Used my office spaceWorked only during the hours that I was productive (7am-3pmish). If I was not being productive, I left.Accessed the support of my peers‘Mind mapped’ ideas on my wallHad a pillow in my office for ‘thinking time’Rewarded myself with coffee breaks (and the odd trip to the lolly shop! )Took work-life balance very seriously (I tried not to work on weekends... Except when marking...)Exercised to and from uni to clear my head
25 My strugglesNot having direction from my supervisor – expecting her to set tasks for me (it took me until my 3rd year to set goals!)Having an associate supervisor leave my uni mid candidatureFeeling as though I was completely incompetentBeing too scared to go to conferences
26 Things I wish I did differently Went to more conferencesTook on different responsibilities eg guest lecturingMet/made contact with more early career researchers to get their adviceUsed EndNoteTravelled to other universities and networked with othersGenerally got out of my comfort zoneMade better use of supports available
27 QUT Postgraduate Careers Service Individual counsellingWhere to from here?Confidence building/skills awarenessWorkshops and seminarsPost-PhD Options/Career StoriesNetworking know-howEffective applications – resumes, selection criteria, interviewsTime managementApplying for workOnline resourcesStaffDr Nikki Penhaligon (KG & GP)Dr Alan McAlpine (GP)Dr Susan Ryan (KG)
28 Contact Careers and Employment LOCATIONGardens Point Campus:Level 2, X BlockReception: Room X222Kelvin Grove Campus:Level 4, C Block(Above the Refectory)Caboolture Campus:Student Centre - J BlockPHONEGardens Point:Kelvin Grove:CabooltureWEBSITE