Misc, Opinion

Managing multiple research projects 

My method:

  1. Using white paper and a clear report folder with clip, write project names on papers with your 4+ week goals
  2. Each week, write on a note card all you’d like to get done that wk, categorized by project title
  3. Then on a separate notecard, write ~4 things to do each wk. 
  4. As the week progresses, try to blindly follow your itinerary. Cross out as you complete and take notes on things you need to do in the future
  5. Use weekend for wrap up, relaxation, maintenance and rewrite for monday. 
  6. If you get new tasks, try to stick to the itinerary and put them off until the weekend or next Monday. This is hard to do sometimes since it feels like forever, but PIs usually don’t notice a few days. Unless it’s critical, obviously. 

Using this method I’ve accomplished more than I thought and also set aside 2 days a week for only optional work. I feel less stressed since I have several layers of plans and to do lists to fall back on, I don’t have to keep it all in short term memory. I used to have to constantly recite my to do list to stay on top of things. 

Also

  • Break tasks into small pieces. This helps with reward as you feel you accomplish more and it’s easier to divide up tasks
  • Give yourself a few small tasks to do each day. This is good for using downtime during experiments or office hours, for example 

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