Academic lean practitioner? Can those words be put together? The joke I have realised during this past year of academia, is that as there is more [value adding] research, reading, thinking and writing to do, academics procrastinate more, there are even PhD Cartoon comic about procrastination. The thing is of course all this procrastination is also non value added time….waste. So it got me thinking, given that I have all this time now for thinking, how can I make sure it is value added, and if I was using visual management for my research how would I apply it?
So the main tasks I have to do are searching, reading, reflection/thinking, filing and writing. At the moment that is pretty much it, there will be data collection tasks soon too, it is pretty hard after having a bonkers-ly full diary for a long time to work out how best to use the 8 hours a day that are no longer full of meetings and staff conversations. In fact at first I think I was a bit adrift and lost in what to do with myself! A professor said at out recent doctoral conference, to think about how much writing you want to do per week and how much reading, then you can set weekly goals. This sounds a little bit like set my demand to me and I liked it, so I wrote it down (would have been helpful last October, but better late than never!). He suggested, read two papers a day, then you have read 10 a week, and 40 a month. He also said write for at least 1 hour a day – even if it is rubbish! Takes me a while to read papers, why there are so many long words in academic papers is still beyond me (sorry to anyone reading this), but they don’t help readers understand the learning and apply it. Soon, I will need time for interviews, transcription, coding and analysis. I will also need to find the papers to read. (beginning to sound like a revision timetable!)
Going to be thinking about my visual management for this, will post up my board soon! Think it will help with feeling small achievements and progress. Let me know if you have ideas!