Day 12 – Taking stock

Has it really been 6 days since I last posted? Nearly half way through the experiment of changing my working habits to take more ownership of my research project (see 1st post). I’ve had to change my rules a bit – While it was very useful in the beginning to blog morning and afternoon about my progress, this doesn’t always make sense – the important thing is that I take time each morning to reflect on and plan which chunks of elephant I choose to eat that day (i.e. tasks which are big and important, but not urgent yet should be eaten in bitesize pieces so you can take power over them), and which ants I need to kill (small tasks which you can group together and thereby solve quickly with little mental effort – instead of postponing them, or letting them drip into every part of the day.)

In the afternoon this should be followed up with a brief reflection on what’s been achieved and a personal pad on the back for progress made. I have had this reflection time in the days where I haven’t posted here, although admittedly it wasn’t quite as systematic when the big presentation came closer.

I presented Friday, and partly due to my new work habits, I was ready for it, and for the first time I was completely calm when I presented. An unexpected side effect of my new work habits was that I was satisfied with my prep, even though my presentation was far from Perfect. This was because I had broken the prep into little chunks, which I had worked with as much as I could in the time available – this gave me confidence that I couldn’t have done any more.

And in fact it went really well – lot’s of praise for my data analysis which I’ve fretted so much about! So, less than half way through this experiment, I seem to be coming out of The Valley of Shit – I couldn’t have hoped for a better success criteria at this point in time.